SEC champions Rebels host Billikens in NCAA Regional this weekend

Posted on May 31 2018 - 5:13pm by Slade Rand

Fresh off their win in the SEC Tournament Championship, the Ole Miss Rebels will host the Saint Louis Billikens for the NCAA Tournament Oxford Regional this weekend at Swayze Field. The series’ first game is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Ryan Olenek celebrates with his teammates after a game against LSU during the regular season. Ole Miss won the game 9-8. File photo by Kendall Patterson

Ole Miss’ 46-15 record and SEC tourney victory have earned the team a No. 4 national seed headed into the regional weekend. The Rebels’ 46-15  leads the Southeastern Conference and the team has more wins to its name than any in program history entering the NCAA Tournament.

Saint Louis enters the tournament also as a No. 4 national seed and the Atlantic 10 Tournament champions. The Billikens sport an impressive 9-1 record in their last 10 games and are riding the momentum of an 11-inning 5-4 comeback win against George Mason on May 26.

Last weekend’s SEC championship efforts yielded a fair share of accolades for the Rebel squad. Junior infielder Nick Fortes was named the SEC Tournament MVP and is one of three Rebels on the All-Tournament team. Will Golsan, with 71 hits on the season, was also named to the team along with sophomore infielder Thomas Dillard.

In the SEC Championship game against LSU, the Rebels posted 9 runs on 15 hits. The team scored four runs in the seventh inning, including a two-run homer off the bat of Tim Rowe. Rowe’s late game crack highlighted the strength of the Rebel bats throughout the season. In 2018, 14 different Rebels have hit a home run.

Ryan Rolison

Ryan Rolison throws a pitch during Ole Miss’ game against Texas Tech last season at Minute Maid Park in Houston. File photo by: Cameron Brooks

Sophomore standout Ryan Rolison, 9-4 with a 2.79 ERA, is expected to start on the mound in Friday’s game, after stepping in to relieve during the championship against LSU. In that last appearance, Rolison allowed zero runs on no hits and a walk, and struck out three. On the season, he’s posted 10 starts with six or more strikeouts and eight with eight-plus strikeouts.

The Rebels congratulate Anthony Sevideo after his first home run against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Wednesday. Photo by Taylar Teel

Ole Miss is a combined 11-4 all-time in regional matchups, and this weekend’s Oxford Regional marks the 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance for a Rebel team that has made the postseason 16 times in Mike Bianco’s 18 seasons in Oxford.

Swayze Field will also play host to a weekend matchup between No. 2 Tennessee Tech and No. 3 Missouri State. The first game of that series will get underway at 2:00 p.m. Friday before the Rebels take the field that night. The full Oxford Regional schedule is set to run through Sunday afternoon.

Friday, June 1

Game 1: #2 Tennessee Tech vs. #3 Missouri State
2 p.m. CT (SEC Network+)
Game 2: #1 Ole Miss vs. #4 Saint Louis
6:30 p.m. CT (SEC Network)
Saturday, June 2
Game 3: Losers of Game 1 and 2
Noon CT (TBD)
Game 4: Winners of Game 1 and 2
6 p.m. CT (TBD)
Sunday, June 3
Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
1 p.m. CT (TBD)
Game 6: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5
5 p.m. CT (TBD)
Sunday, June 4
Game 7: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6
6 p.m. CT (If Necessary)