If Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco wanted to give an MVP trophy for the non-conference season, Matt Tracy would be the overwhelming favorite.
A senior from Memphis, Tracy has contributed only sparingly in three previous seasons. He had the opportunity to turn pro last spring but declined. It looks like it’s good for Ole Miss that he did.
“I was prepared going into the season to contribute whether it was in the field or on the mound. I’m excited that I’ve been given the opportunity to go out and help the team at the plate and on the mound,” he said.
He’s been a big help. Tracy is the team’s leading hitter at .348 and leads the pitching staff with 29 strikeouts in 21 2-3 innings. He’s settled into the role of mid-week starter going 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA so far.
At the plate he’s 16 for 46 with a double, two home runs and 10 RBIs.
When not pitching he’s in the outfield.
Tracy hopes he and the entire Rebels’ offense can crank things up a notch when SEC play begins Friday with a visit from Alabama.
“I think we’re getting better. I think it’s just being more patient and staying back. We’ve seen a lot of off-speed pitches, and a lot of teams have done a great job of throwing off-speed pitches for strikes. Being a pitcher, that makes it really hard on the hitters, but we’ve been able to stay back and go up the middle or the other way, and with that approach you can handle those guys a little better.”
Tracy is optimistic about the Rebels’ (14-4) chances against the league.
“We’re excited about the SEC season. It’s a completely new season, and it will be fun for a lot of the new guys who haven’t experienced it before to get out there and compete against some really good teams,” he said.