Only the beginning for Ole Miss

Published 9:37 am Tuesday, May 30, 2017

This Ole Miss baseball season didn’t end the way we hoped.

We are used to NCAA Tournament appearances for the Rebels under head coach Mike Bianco. But despite a difficult schedule and a talented young squad, the difficult Southeastern Conference schedule left Ole Miss in a tough spot.

A first-round SEC Tournament loss to Auburn effectively sealed the fate for Ole Miss, leaving the Rebels at home for the postseason this year.

We didn’t see that coming back in February when Ole Miss opened with a three-game sweep at home over East Carolina before record crowds of more than 10,000.

But a stellar pitching staff just wasn’t enough to carry Ole Miss through a season in which offense was sparse and unreliable. The Rebels just didn’t have big and consistent bats and consistently left runners on base.

We knew, however, this was the start of something for Ole Miss baseball not the end. With the nation’s top recruiting class, including our stellar group of Oxford High freshman, Bianco and company were in the building mode this year.

At times we had seven freshmen in the lineup. The fact that Ole Miss was able to compete with so many young players, ending the year with a top 30 rating index against one of the toughest schedules in the country, revealed that the Rebels will be a force in the next two to three seasons.

We can hardly wait.