The Road to Omaha: Day 2
OMAHA, Neb. — It’s been a busy day here in the Heartland. Ole Miss, one of eight teams in the 2014 College World Series, got on the field at TD Ameritrade Park Friday. The players, and coach Mike Bianco, also met with the media, all day it seemed like.
Each team got to take batting practice and worked on defensive drills during the 45-minute practice session. Fans were able to watch all the teams, and the kids got a lot of autographs from the players.
Ole Miss will meet Virginia in Game 4 of the CWS. That game will start at 7 Sunday night. ESPN2 will have all the action.
Catcher Will Allen (above) is a very popular player for the Rebels, especially with the women. Will got some time with the local TV reporters and the MLB Network today.
Bianco (below) gave a run down of his team to the national media and then took time out to talk with his local media contingent in town. He’s been in great spirits since the Game 3 win at Louisiana-Lafayette. And who could blame him? This is the first time he has been in the new park. All of his previous visits as a member of the LSU coaching staff were at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium, which no longer exists.
The park is large and it should help the pitchers, from all teams. The wind never stopped blowing, in, during the two practice sessions I attended. (Virginia was the other one where I was on the field).
Virginia will start a left-hander, sophomore Nathan Kirby, Sunday night. Kirby is 9-2 with a 1.73 ERA. He also leads the Cavaliers with 104 1/3 innings pitched this year. Kirby (below) was one of the main Cavaliers interviewed after practice.
I’m here in Omaha with Parrish Alford of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. After we got our work done in the press box, we headed to the Old Market part of Downtown Omaha for some food. We ate at the Twisted Fork. Very good, large selection of beer. There are a lot of restaurants/bars in this area, so I expect to see a lot of Ole Miss fans there in the coming days.
There are a number of pre-game parties the Ole Miss Alumni Association have planned for fans as well. The two planned are at the CenturyLink Center Omaha Junior Ballroom & Ak-Sar-Ben Terrace at 455 North 10th Street in Omaha.
The first party is Sunday from 3:30-6:30 p.m. The cost is $15 per person with advance purchase and $20 at the door if space permits. Popcorn, chips and salsa bar, mustard potato salad, classic cheeseburgers, Hebrew National all-beef hot dogs, assorted cookies, lemonade and water are included. A cash bar will be available.
On Tuesday, the party will be scheduled based on how the Rebels fare on Sunday. Check back to the blog over the weekend for more information.
Here are some videos of the Rebels at practice, just to get everyone ready for Sunday’s game
Here is one of the Rebels signing autographs for the fans.