It may still be basketball season but Rebels fans are getting ready for Ole Miss baseball and hopefully a repeat of the abbreviated 2020 season.
It’s almost time for Ole Miss baseball and Rebels fans are ready! Not far away are days where fans will be watching the Rebels take the field and hopefully pick up where they left off last spring. The 2020 Ole Miss Rebels were 16-1 with the only loss coming in the opening game of the season to then No.1 ranked Louisville. The season was canceled on March 12 as a result of Covid-19. The very next day before the Rebels were set to open SEC play against LSU.
As bad as it was to see the end of an awesome run by coach Mike Bianco and the Rebels, it was needed to ensure the health and welfare of all athletes involved in spring sports. Many college baseball pundits believed Ole Miss could have made a championship run through the SEC on the road to Omaha. Nobody will ever know what the 2020 Ole Miss Rebels were truly capable of. However, there are hopes the No.5 ranked Rebels will be just as good when they take the field on February 19.
A Tough Test
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Coach Mike Bianco and Ole Miss baseball will certainly have a tough test ahead. They will open the 2021 season with three games in the State Farm College Baseball Challenge.
The Rebels will face off against three Top10 teams over three days. First up will be No.10 ranked TCU followed by No.3 ranked Texas Tech and No.9 Texas.
The TCU Horned Frogs finished the 2020 season with an 11-4 record. The Horned Frogs began the season strong with a sweep of Kentucky but dropped 3 of their last 4 games of the shortened season.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders finished their 2020 season with a record of 16-3 but ended it with back to back losses to the then No.10 ranked Miss State Bulldogs.
Everybody knows Ole Miss baseball has always had great pitching. Over the years coach Mike Bianco and Ole Miss baseball have produced some great pitchers. The 2021 season will be no different. In fact, two Rebels have been named All-Americans. Left-hander Doug Nikhazy and right-hander Gunnar Hoglund have both been tabbed with All-American honors.
In December both pitchers were named preseason All-Americans by Collegiate Baseball. Now, Nikhazy has been named as a First Team Preseason All-American by Perfect Game. Hoglund has been named to the Preseason All-American Second Team by D1Baseball.
Both starters were sensational in the shortened 2020 season. Nikhazy, just a junior, made 4 starts and pitched his way to a 3-1 record and 2.35 ERA. Over 23 innings, Nikhazy finished with 31 Ks and only 9 walks in 85 batters faced. In 2020, Hoglund saw 4 starts and finished with a 3-0 record and 1.16 ERA. Over 23.1 innings, Hoglund faced 91 batters and had 37 Ks and only 4 walks. Both Nikhazy and Hoglund will be exciting to watch on the hill this season.
It will be exciting to see how well the Diamond Rebels can fare in their season debut weekend. Rebels fans can be sure coach Mike Bianco will have the Rebels ready to compete and it will be fun to see the Rebels back in action. Please be sure to check back here or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more Diamond Rebels news and updates. As always, stay safe and Hotty Toddy!