On the Hill
Over his tenure head coach Mike Bianco has produced some outstanding pitching and is expected to have a very good stable of strong arms in 2019. In 2018 we saw the future of the Ole Miss pitching staff and they were as advertised. However, the MLB draft and graduation took its toll and we can expect Bianco to reload with some more young guns on the mound. Still there are plenty of great pitchers who have playing experience in 2019. While we really can’t be sure what coach Mike Bianco’s starting rotation will look like once the season opens, we do know this pitching staff should be as solid.
Junior right-hander Houston Roth returns in 2019 and is expected to be in the starting rotation. In 2018 Roth made 16 appearances on the mound with 8 starts. Roth finished the season with a 5-1 record and a 4.44 ERA, allowing 26 earned runs on 55 hits in 52.2 innings of work with 68 strikeouts. Sophomore left-hander Jordan Fowler is expected to make a significant impact in 2019 as well. In 2018 Fowler made 16 appearances with 9 starts and finished the season with a 7-0 record and 3.20 ERA. Fowler was also named as a Freshman All-American.
Others To Watch
Without knowing the actual starting rotation, we look at some of the other arms who might make a run as a starter in 2019, the relievers and the closers. Sophomore right-hander Max Cioffi made 14 appearances in 2018 going for 23.0 innings on the hill. Cioffi had the lowest ERA of any Ole Miss pitcher with a 1.96.
Also expected to make an impact in 2019 are junior right-handers Will Ethridge and Austin Miller. In 2018 Ethridge made 26 appearances in relief, tallying a 3-1 record with a 3.91 ERA over 50.2 innings on the mound. Ethridge allowed 22 earned runs on 49 hits and 14 walks with 53 strikeouts for a 3.8 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Miller made 12 relief appearances with a 4.02 ERA over 15.2 innings while allowing 8 runs, 7 earned, on 13 hits and 3 walks with 22 strikeouts.
Senior right-hander Connor Green is another arm who should see significant mound work in 2019. In 2018 Green made 9 relief appearances allowing 5 runs on 11 hits in 12.0 innings of work for a 3.75 ERA. Green struck out 9 batters and didn’t allow a run in his first seven appearances of the season. Junior right-hander Greer Holston is also expected to make an impact in 2018. In 2019 Holston made 24 relief appearances and finished the season with a 2-1 record and 3.27 ERA. Holston allowed 12 earned runs in 33.0 innings striking out 35 batters while allowing 36 hits and nine walks.
Senior right-hander Colin Coates will be another Rebels pitcher who should see more work in 2019. In 2018 Coates made just 2 appearances totaling 1.1 innings on the mound. Another pitcher to watch for in 2019 is red-shirt junior right-hander Ray Falk. Naturally Ole Miss baseball fans are very anxious to see red-shirt junior right-hand closer Parker Caracci. Caracci had a fantastic 2018 season and finished with 10 saves and a 5-2 record in 48.0 innings over 27 appearances. Caracci allowed just 38 hits and 12 earned runs with a 2.25 while amassing 73 strikeouts. Caracci was named as a 2018 All-American.
Naturally Ole Miss baseball fans are excited to see the Diamond Rebels in action and with the season beginning February 15th against Wright State we don’t have long to wait. Please be sure to check back here for more Rebels news and updates as we draw closer to the season opener. Good luck to coach Mike Bianco and the Rebels in 2019. Hotty Toddy!