We're merely hours away from the start of college baseball season.
The South is one region that passionately cares about college baseball, so at times, you may believe we're covering baseball with much more vigor than basketball. Well, welcome to Mississippi.
Ole Miss will take on the University of Louisiana-Monroe in a three game series starting this afternoon at 3 p.m. The games are only available on local radio or through a Rebelvision account on-line.
Otherwise, you'll be hitting refresh like me and every other poor sap who will not be within radio distance or has a wife who hasn't let him purchase Rebelvision yet.
A glance at the starters
Ole Miss- Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Jr. - He generally needs no introduction. With the somewhat chilly weather, I'll be interested to see how long he pushes himself into this game.
ULM- Drew Granier, RHP, Jr.- This junior college transfer from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College had a decent record(8-3) and ERA(3.71) last year at the JC level. He's originally from Thibodeaux, Louisiana, so make coonass jokes about him all day.
Ole Miss- Aaron Barrett, RHP, Sr.- Watch for Barrett's control in the second and third innings of work. Last season, control would slowly start to slip away during his appearances. If he gets through three innings unscathed, he will have improved over the offseason.
ULM- Josh Miller, RHP, Sr.- This won't be the first time Miller has started against an SEC foe. He gave up three runs in a four inning appearance against Arkansas last season. He was mostly used as a bullpen arm last year, however.
Ole Miss- Trent Rothlin, RHP, Jr.- The JC transfer from Walters State Community College did not have a dazzling ERA last year. He did show a prowess for striking out hitters with 65 K's in 58 IP.
ULM- Cory Brown, RHP, Sr.- Brown was also primarily used out of the bullpen last season. He allowed only 31 hits over 38 innings of work last year. He only started one game last year, going 7.1 innings against Western Kentucky giving up two runs on six hits.
Ole Miss will win this series though it may not be pretty. Everyone will be expecting a shut-out victory in game 1 behind Drew Pomeranz, but just temper your expectations with an ice cold Budweiser. The Rebels will be looking for the sweep, but I can't assume quality starts from Barrett or Rothlin. An offensive back and forth is most likely on Saturday and Sunday as ULM will be looking to take down a top 25 team. Last season, they beat Arkansas in Fayetteville(3-2) and Mississippi State in Starkville(7-1), so I don't expect them to be intimidated in front of a decent, shivering crowd in Oxford. The early season jitters could be ULM's biggest enemy.
SQUAWK 'EM HAWK 'EM, Rebels. I'm predicting Ole Miss takes two out of three, losing either the Saturday or Sunday game.