Rebels freshman Bell making most of opportunity

Opportunity didn’t come for Brantley Bell as quickly this season as it did for some other members of Ole Miss’ class of baseball newcomers.

When it did come Bell took full advantage. He now leads the team in hitting at .422 in 45 at-bats spread over 17 appearances, 10 of them starts.

“My first word was baseball. It’s all I ever wanted to do,” said Bell, the son of Jay Bell, a Major League player of 18 seasons and now an MLB assistant.

Part of the reason for the delayed introduction to the college game was the question about where to put Bell in the lineup.

In high school in Phoenix, Ariz., Bell played six different positions and also pitched.

“Defensively, we didn’t really know where he should play. He was a high school shortstop. He played third and second in the fall, but he still needed to work on some things, and we really didn’t know where to put him. That was the biggest thing,” hitting coach Cliff Godwin said.

Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco encouraged Bell to remain patient, and he finally began to get in games more – eventually in the starting nine – a few weeks ago against Louisiana-Monroe.

He understands that with his notoriety will come more difficult pitches to hit.

“I’m seeing it great right now. Hopefully I can make it last the whole season. The biggest thing or me is to not chase hits but keep a solid approach, and the hits will come,” he said.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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  • karl hungus

    For those of you that doubt my “theory” on widespread steroid use in college football. Check out the article on ESPNGO.COM…or google “steroid use in college football” and you can read it yourself. Never doubt ol Karl Hungus.

    • Killer_Beeze

      Blabber blabber blabber.

  • karl hungus

    N.C. State goes down in a game where 63 free throws were attempted….yet neither team complains about the fouls. Take note Sharkfins, that’s how you take a defeat with class.

  • Killer_Beeze

    The best thing Mike Bianco has done is hire a legitimate hitting coach: Cliff Godwin. Cliff could have gone virtually anywhere and many schools would hire him as their head coach.
    Good luck to the #14 ranked Diamond Rebs against the Tigers this weekend.

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