Ole Miss baseball begins the 2018 season ranked No. 9 in D1 Baseball’s opening rankings, the highest such ranked team that ended last year outside the top 25. We previously saw that the Rebels were in the top 15 in Perfect Game’s Preseason Top 25, but the folks over at D1 think Ole Miss is a few notches higher despite a lackluster season a year ago.
Off the cuff, you have to think they are considering the fact that the Rebels should win every Friday when they roll Ryan Rolison out there on the hill. Then, you add in the fact that they have a dynamic one-two punch in the bullpen in Will Stokes and Dallas Woolfolk, and that they avoid preseason No. 1 and defending national champion Florida and preseason No. 8 Kentucky in the regular season, and all of a sudden Mike Bianco and Co. have a good shot in winning 18+ conference games.
But, as we alluded in our last preseason poll article, the Rebs really need to be better offensively. As one Bianco club does, they’re going to pitch it well. Your Saturday and Sunday starters are more than likely going to be returning hurlers James McArthur and Brady Feigl, then you throw in relief arms like Will Ethridge, Connor Green, Greer Holston, Houston Roth, and newcomers like Jordan Fowler and Pierce Smith, and the arms might be enough to hold the Rebs afloat.
No matter what though, you’ve gotta hit better as a team. And I mean higher than .253 as a team. That just ain’t going to get it done.