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Ellis: 'We Have A Special Team'

The sixth-ranked Ole Miss Rebels practiced at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field Friday afternoon as they prepare to open Super Regional play Saturday night against top-ranked and national No. 6 seed Louisiana-Lafayette.

It marks the fifth time Ole Miss has played in a Super Regional since 2005, with previous appearances in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009. 

The goal of advancing to Omaha and the College World Series remains the same as with those previous teams, but like during the preparation for the start of regional play, the coaches and players notice a different mindset with this year's team.

"We have been pretty consistent," head coach Mike Bianco said. "That's why we're at where we're at. There haven't been a lot of peaks and valleys, hot streaks and slumps. This team has been able to handle the bad stuff that this game and the conference deals you week in and week out. You hope that by doing that the entire season it pays off when you get to this point."

"All I hear about is some kind of curse that we can't get to Omaha, or whatever," junior right-hander Chris Ellis said. "We have a special team. We have a great offense and we have a great pitching staff and we have great coaching. We'll get it done this year."

Rebels Prep For Synthetic Turf

The most obvious difference at "The Tigue" is the synthetic turf that was installed in January 2010. The only dirt is on the pitcher's mound. With the different surface, the Rebels took extra infield and also had sliding practice Friday.

"The ground balls are a little slower, and they certainly bounce true," Bianco said. "One of the things that you saw at the end of practice is you slide a little further. You certainly don't want to hit a double and slide past the base, or steal a base and slide past it. I wanted to make sure that the guys who have never played on it were conscious of it."

"We don't usually do sliding practice, but because this is the first time we have been on a turf field all year, it seems like whenever you slide on turf you go further and it's easier to slide past the bag," senior third baseman Austin Anderson said. "You have to start your slide earlier, but it shouldn't be that big of a factor this weekend."

"The Tigue" has similar dimensions to Swayze Field, with 330 feet down the lines, 375 feet to the power alleys and 400 feet to center field, but Anderson said the ball carried pretty well there in battle practice, a little better than at home.

The sixth-ranked Ole Miss Rebels hit the road to take on top-ranked and national No. 6 seed Louisiana-Lafayette in an NCAA Super Regional starting Saturday night. UL Lafayette is scheduled to practice from 1-2:30 p.m. Friday, followed by Ole Miss from 2:45-4:15 Friday. Both are open to the public. Here are a few Super Regional related links to videos and stories:

2014 Super Regional Breakdown: Mississippi-Louisiana-Lafayette, writes Aaron Fitt of Baseball America

Cajuns take regional, bragging rights, writes David Ching of ESPN.com

Ex-LSU pitchers Christian Trent, Carson Baranik ready to square off, writes Chase Parham of Rebel Grove/Rivals.com for The Advocate

Ole Miss' Sam Smith relishes chance to be near Lake Charles again, writes Chase Parham of Rebel Grove/Rivals.com for The Advocate

Out of the shadow: Colby Bortles breaks out in Oxford Regional, writes Parrish Alford of The Daily Journal

What makes UL baseball team so special?, writes Tim Buckley of The Daily Advertiser

Lead-off hitter Lee playing to expectations, writes Hugh Kellenberger of The Clarion-Ledger

Will Allen keeps Ole Miss strong at catcher, writes Chase Parham of Rebel Grove/Rivals.com for The Advocate

Final push: Rebels look to get over Super Regional hump, writes Parrish Alford of The Daily Journal

For Ole Miss Fans Traveling To Lafayette:

Join the Ole Miss Alumni Association & Ole Miss Athletics at the Rebels' Super Regional Meet & Greet, from The Ole Miss Alumni Association

Viewing Party For Tailgaters And Fans Without Tickets, from UL Lafayette Athletics

A Look Back At The NCAA Oxford Regional:

VIDEO: Ole Miss Baseball....The greatest atmosphere in all of college baseball, from Scott Burton

Unleashed: Proud, "Absolute Class" Huskies Wow The South, writes Gregg Bell, UW Athletics Director of Writing





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