Coach Mike Bianco begins his 12th season in Oxford with a young pitching staff but with rejuvenated bats thanks to new hitting coach, Cliff Godwin. Coach Godwin comes to Ole Miss from Central Florida where he was the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the Knights.
Replacing Matt Mossberg, a homegrown product, couldn’t have been easy for Bianco, but, it has become obvious over the last few years, the bats were keeping Ole Miss from reaching that next level of being a regular in Omaha.
“I’m very excited to have Cliff on board,” Bianco said. “There was so much interest in the position, but it was obvious that Cliff was the best person for the job. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the Southeastern Conference with him to the position.”
Godwin, who also coached the same position at LSU, has made an immediate impact by injecting a new level of intensity and excitement to the Rebels who have been predominantly a “small-ball” club.
Ole Miss has had some of the best Friday night pitchers in the game over the last few years only to come up short by a few runs during the super regionals. Coach Godwin hopes to change this side of the game.
“I’m excited about helping Ole Miss get back to Omaha and bring a national title home to Oxford. That’s always been my goal as a player and as a coach, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to be a part of taking the Rebels back to the College World Series.”
The Rebs are red-hot at the start of the season with a 5-1 record, splitting two games with the number 10 team in the nation, TCU, at their home park; and, sweeping the home games so far over UNC-Wilmington and Arkansas State.
Memphis and Jackson State visit Oxford in mid week games before a home weekend series with Miami of Ohio.
Ole Miss’s current national ranking of 20, looks low, and I expect it to improve greatly before SEC play in March. If the talented young pitchers are able to stay consistent, Omaha is not out of the question for this year.
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*** Edited to add: Baseball America's updated standings moves Ole Miss up to no. 16. http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/college/top-25/rankings/2012/2613034.html