Ole Miss athletics director Ross Bjork made it clear at the close of last season, as the Rebels were eliminated from the NCAA tournament in a road regional for the third time in four years, that he really wants to see a regional played at Swayze Field again.
Ole Miss last hosted in 2009. The Rebels played at Virginia the next season, didn’t make the NCAAs in 2011, and have played at Texas A&M and North Carolina State the last two seasons.
“We talk about that every year. Coach B (Mike Bianco) and Coach (Cliff) Godwin stress that a lot. It’s one of our main goals to host a regional and host a super regional. It’s not an easy path to get to Omaha, but it’s a lot easier when you’re playing at home,” third baseman Austin Anderson said.
RPI will be a key factor in determining the 16 regional host sites, and Ole Miss is in good position right now. The Rebels are No. 5 in the NCAA’s official release. The simulated rankings at BoydsWorld.com and WarrenNolan.com have them at No. 6.
“We’re happy with where we’re at right now, but like Saturday, the SEC is kind of crazy. We’ve got to keep playing, keep working hard and make sure we don’t hit a low patch right here,” Anderson said.
The Rebels take on LSU, which is No. 16 in the simulated RPI and No. 21 in the NCAA release, Thursday at Swayze Field in the first game of this weekend’s SEC series.
Ole Miss players try to resist the temptation of looking at league standings, RPI and other numbers.
“No we just kind of ignore it and keep playing our game. As long as we keep working hard and doing the little things, the things that got us here like early hitting, the game should take care of itself,” Anderson said.