OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss baseball team advanced to the postseason on Monday when it was announced the Rebels would be the third seed and face second-seeded TCU at the College Station Regional hosted by Texas A&M this coming Friday.
It marks the ninth time in the last 10 years the Rebels have been selected to compete in the NCAA Tournament, joining an elite group of only 17 teams who have advanced to the postseason nine of the last 10 seasons and one of only three teams from the Southeastern Conference to accomplish that feat.
Ole Miss will take the field at 12:35 p.m. on Friday to face the TCU Horned Frogs in the opening game of the regional. Ole Miss will then either face host Texas A&M or first-time NCAA Tournament participant Dayton in the second game of the weekend.
Fans can purchase tickets through Texas A&M at 1-888-99-AGGIE. The regional will be broadcast online via ESPN3.com.
"It's certainly a very strong field," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco of the College Station Regional. "We're a pretty good three seed. TCU has had a lot of success over the last several years and Texas A&M was just in the College World Series last year. Then you have the A-10 Conference Champions with the Dayton Flyers as the four seed."
"We're excited to go to College Station," said sophomore right-handed pitcher Bobby Wahl. "We've been really positive in practice and the guys were pretty excited. TCU is a great ball club and have been for many years. I'm excited for the opportunity to play against them again."
Ole Miss and TCU met in the first weekend of the 2012 season, a weekend that was impacted by weather and shortened the series to two games. The two teams split that weekend series with Ole Miss claiming the season opener before TCU rallied to take the second game of the weekend.
"We had a pretty good game against TCU offensively the first time we faced them," Bianco said. "I remember their starter in that season opener, Andrew Mitchell, was a big, power right-hander and the kind of pitcher you see in the SEC on a Friday night. He was outstanding."
The Rebels enter the weekend with an overall record of 35-24 and are led by some of the top performers in the Southeastern Conference this season. At the plate, Alex Yarbrough and Matt Snyder have been two of the big bats in the lineup.
Yarbrough leads the team with a .389 average and has posted 41 RBI to go along with 39 runs scored. He ranks in the top 10 in the SEC in seven offensive categories. Defensively, the junior second baseman has been outstanding, committing only two errors on the year for a .992 fielding percentage. He also posted a stretch of 456 consecutive innings of errorless ball between his two errors.
Snyder is hitting at a .333 clip on the year and leads the SEC with 57 RBI and posted 12 home runs on the season. Ten of Snyder's home runs came in conference play, marking the largest home run total for conference games only in the SEC this season.
Wahl (6-3) and sophomore Mike Mayers (5-3) have been two of the stalwarts on the mound for a Rebel pitching staff that has posted a school record nine shut-out wins this season. Wahl is second in the SEC in ERA with a 2.26 ERA and has posted a team-leading 90 strikeouts. Opponents hit at only a .211 clip against Wahl this season.
Mayers has combined for a pair of shutouts for the Rebels this season, both over nationally-ranked Arkansas, and helped the Rebels defeat No. 1 Kentucky on the road to hand the Wildcats their first home loss of the season after 21 consecutive wins. Mayers has held opponents to a .225 batting average this season.
Out of the bullpen, the Rebels have relied on junior Brett Huber and senior R.J. Hively. Huber has posted 10 saves this season to tie for the school record in saves with 26 for his career, matching three-time All-American Stephen Head.
Hively started the season in the starting role and moved into the bullpen to help bolster the bullpen down the stretch. The senior right-hander posted a 5-5 record with three saves this season, including saves over then No. 15 Arkansas, Southern Miss and Tennessee. Two of his wins came over Mississippi State and Tennessee.