OXFORD, Miss. – With opening day less than a month away, preseason polls continue to laud the diamond Rebels, who just drew in their third top 25 ranking in less than two weeks, landing at No. 16 on Baseball America’s preseason poll released Tuesday morning.
The No. 16 ranking by Baseball America comes after the Rebels were ranked as high as No. 9 by D1Baseball and No. 11 by Perfect Game last week, making 2018 the first year in school history that the Rebels were ranked 16th or higher in the top three national preseason polls (D1Baseball is in fourth year of polls).
Despite five players being selected in the 2017 MLB Draft, the Rebels return all but two players in their everyday lineup from last spring, led by seniors Will Golsan and Tim Rowe, and a plethora of experienced talent. Of the position players who started at least 24 games in 2017, eight of the 10 return to anchor an experienced defense in the field, and a veteran offense at the plate.
On the mound, arguably Ole Miss’ strongest point, the Rebels lost only one player who threw substantial innings – David Parkinson – a 12th round draft pick to the Philadelphia Phillies. Reliever Will Stokes returns as the lone senior pitcher, while the three Freshman All-Americans – Houston Roth, Will Ethridge and Ryan Rolison – are all back as part of a highly-touted pitching staff entering 2018.
Rolison and Ethridge are joined by three other pitchers who, all five, combined for 40 of the Rebels’ 57 starts in 2017. Dallas Woolfolk, a member of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, is back for his junior campaign as the shutdown closer.
Joining the experienced 20 letterwinners are a strong class of 14 newcomers, which includes four JUCO transfers and 10 standout freshmen.
Season tickets are currently on sale at OleMissTix.com. Ole Miss opens the 2018 season with eight-straight at O-U Stadium/Swayze Field, beginning with Winthrop Feb. 16-18.
For all Ole Miss Baseball news and information, visit the official athletics site OleMissSports.com. For more social media updates, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissBSB, on Facebook at Ole Miss Baseball and on Instagram at olemissbsb.