Ole Miss places three on freshman All-American team

Published 11:53 am Wednesday, June 7, 2017

For the second consecutive season, the Ole Miss baseball team landed three pitchers on a freshman All-American team. Will Ethridge, Ryan Rolison and Houston Roth all earned Freshman All-American accolades following their first season as Rebels, Collegiate Baseball announced Wednesday morning.

With three freshman All-Americans, all part of the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class, the Rebels were the only team to have a trio of pitchers earn the distinction. Ole Miss matched four other schools (LSU, Old Dominion, Oregon, UNC Central) for the most players overall on Collegiate Baseball’s list. Last season, the Rebels produced three freshman All-Americans for the first time in program history as Brady Feigl, James McArthur and Andy Pagnozzi received the recognition.

Ethridge made 19 appearances for the Rebels in 2017, going 2-2 with one save and a 2.41 earned run average in 41 innings. The Liburn, Georgia, native recorded 50 strikeouts, while only walking 11 and holding opposing hitters to a .213 batting average. He also started four games, including his historical Ole Miss debut. Against Arkansas State, Ethridge recorded 10 strikeouts, the most by a Rebel freshman since 2007 and the most in an Ole Miss debut this century.

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Ethridge reached double digits in strikeouts again versus Georgia State, allowing only two hits and not surrendering a walk over a career-high 7.2 innings. He moved to the bullpen for Southeastern Conference play, where he excelled and proved to be an important reliever down the stretch. During his final 13 appearances, all in relief, Ethridge held a 0.95 ERA over 19 innings.

Like Ethridge, Rolison also appeared in 19 games during his freshman campaign. He tied David Parkinson for the most victories on the team, going 6-3 with a 3.06 ERA. Rolison was 15th in ERA among qualifying SEC pitchers while striking out 64 hitters in 61 2/3 innings of work. The Jackson, Tennessee, native surrendered only 23 runs throughout the season, including 21 earned runs; those marks ranked third and fifth in the SEC, respectively. Rolison gave up only two homers as well, the second-fewest among conference starting pitchers. The southpaw began the season in the bullpen before earning a spot in the weekend rotation for the final eight conference series.

Rolison earned SEC Freshman of the Week accolades April 24 after a career performance versus Missouri. He tossed 6.0 scoreless innings to get the win, tallying a career-high nine strikeouts and retiring 14 of the final 16 hitters he faced. He took a no-hit bid to the fifth inning before Mizzou broke it up with one out in the frame.

Roth spent the entire 2017 season in the bullpen, producing the lowest ERA on the team. In 18 outings, he boasted a 1.57 ERA to go along with a 3-0 record over 28 2/3 innings. The Oxford native had an impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio throughout the year, recording 41 strikeouts and only walking eight. He only allowed earned runs in four of his 18 appearances.

In seven relief outings, Roth pitched at least two innings. He threw a career-high three frames and did not give up an earned run on his way to a win in the series finale versus Missouri. Roth also won games against Little Rock and ULM. In the victory over the Warhawks, he matched his career high in strikeouts with five over 2 2/3 innings.