The Season: Ole Miss Baseball – Senior Day 2017


[Music]. Today, we’re going with Sean and Connor. This is kind of Connor’s spot. So, he’ll be leading the way here, but, me, Sean, and Connor go fishing quite often. We’ve been sitting around waiting on you. My bad. Connor’s got about 15 fishing poles. I just need the one. You fight with the driver, Tim [ph]. Yep, I actually do. [Music]. Oh. I caught a seven-pound, nine-ounce one the other day. You’d be sitting in third place if you were on my rankings. You give Connor a mic and you put him out here in his element. All right, number one — And he’s just going to be a little arrogant. Maybe it was, like — maybe a little cooler this morning. They weren’t biting. Probably three or four pounds. Just lily pads. Good stuff. Definitely could have been fisherman’s error. All right. Now, hopefully — nope, not even close. Did not see a branch behind me and it was over. This is not good, man. I got it, but now I got to feed it back through. We do some crazy stuff sometimes, just stuff we feel — oh, got one. It’s a monster. [Music]. Oh, he’s going to come off. Get up here. All right. About time. That’s a little bigger one, huh? Sean’s slaying them. We got to pick it up. I know, we got to pick it up. Hold it closer to the camera, it will look bigger. [Laughter]. Yeah, we’re about to do that. Get it up. That’s a big one. Yeah, that was a good fight. Really big one right there. Oh, yeah. A little bigger one right there. Hey, two-nothing. Sean had some pretty good luck today. I started out hot, and then got nothing after that. Two quick ones. I had two very quick ones and then — They weren’t really biting today. There we go. [Door closes]. Let’s see how good these guys do on camera when talking about their mama. Test. Test. Do it again. Test, test. There you go. I had it backwards. Whenever you’re ready, go ahead. Action. Mom, honestly, I don’t think I’d be alive without you. Yeah, I don’t know if I want to shout out all the women in my life or just my mama. You sound great. All right. And hit it. I love my mom. I love you. Thank you for everything you do for me. I’m so blessed to have you. I love her so much. These guys kill it all the time. I mean, I couldn’t ask for more. They make my job easy. Happy Mother — oh. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you. Let me redo that one. Let me redo that. Hey, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day. Thank you to — I messed up. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you. Do it more one time, but slow down and enjoy it a little. Okay. Yeah, you’re right. You’re right. Take two. I’m not good at this. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you. I’m going fast still? It’s all right, man. You know, even though the sun is out, I’m providing, like, extra light with this dirty piece of cardboard. Do it one more time. There’s somebody up in the stands. [Indiscernible]. Happy Mother’s Day. I just want to say thank you for all that you do for me. I wouldn’t be here without — sorry. Oh. You were so close. Thanks for all that you do for us. I love you. Do it one more time. [Laughter]. [Music]. Hey, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day. Here we go. [Music]. All right. You ready? And hit it. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day. I love you. [Bat hits ball]. [Laughter]. Stokes, are you nervous? Oh, sorry. That made me a little nervous. [Laughter]. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you. That one was good, I feel like. That one was good. We’ll keep that one. Tonight, from Swayze Field, Ole Miss is sent to host 19th ranked Texas A&M in game one of the final home Southeastern Conference Series. You know, after looking back at the tape, it’s hard to say that James, you know, pitched well, you know, obviously giving up those runs. The biggest issue so far for McArthur has been location. This A&M team has not missed very many pitches. Really, I think it had more to do with Texas A&M. I think they had a great approach. I think, you know, it was one of those nights where, you know, they were going to hit. It was kind of a weird game because it felt like, from an offensive standpoint, we were in it the whole time. We were just — we came up short that one big hit. [Bat hits ball]. Fortes chops this one to third. And a double play. That’s the third double play that Ole Miss has grounded into tonight. We all know, and we’ve been in this league, and this is, you know, week nine in the Southeastern Conference, and we realize that, you know, you got to be able to put that game away and be ready to play the next day. You know, as disappointing as it is, and as disappointing as I think we played on Friday, I’m really proud of the way the guys, you know, were able to flush that the next day and be able respond and come back. When I came on a visit to Ole Miss I fell in love with the place, loved the coaches, loved the baseball atmosphere, loved the campus, loved everything about it, and I, you know, wouldn’t change that decision if I had to do it over again. I’ve learned that, you know, there’s going to be good days and there’s going to be bad days, and it’s just about how you react to those days. And no matter what happens you got to get back up and keep moving forward, and that’s what I’ve done in the past four years, and that’s what I’ll continue to do. That’s really what today is all about, it’s the culmination of success in the classroom, in that study hall, on the field, on the track, on the court, on the course. Whatever sport you play, we are just so, so proud of you to have reached the pinnacle of what higher education is all about, and that’s receiving your degree, receiving your diploma, walking across the stage, and being an Ole Miss Rebel for life. What about your proudest moment for Colby? There are a lot of them. Just playing baseball. It’s my first love is my grandkids and baseball. Kicking dirt. What’s that? Kicking dirt. Kicking dirt. That’s where — that’s how he started. Looking out into the field, kicking dirt when everything was going on. I’m just proud of him in general and all that he’s done. And I can remember him starting baseball many, many, many years ago, and out in that field. And we’re just very, very proud of him and all that he’s done. Kicking the dirt. Nah, just all the friends I’ve made playing baseball, all of the friendships, going to school and everything. It’s been awesome, and it’s been an awesome four years. [Music]. Oh, we got the small? This is an adult small. You’re supposed to sit on it, man. Don’t wear it like a hat. Like this? Not like that. [Music]. Let mom move in and look at your mom. This is his home. Everybody took him in, the alumni here that come and watch all the games, and, you know, everybody adopted him as theirs. I know so many people would come up to us and say we know about your older son, but Colby’s ours, so. Oh, don’t cry. So, that was a big deal. [Music]. I got my diploma and I’m pretty pumped about it. What’s next? We’re going to go play baseball and go win a baseball game. You have the flower, you go to your mom first, hand her the flower, kiss her, shake, hug your dad, brother, whoever is here, and then, at the end, bring you together so we get a picture of both you all, and then we’re done. Got it? I was prepared for it, I guess. My whole mindset was not to cry the whole time. It was emotional. The last time I ever play at Swayze Field after being here for three years. From my freshman year, seeing all the seniors on their senior day, and, you know, it was, like, in my head, what would my senior day be like? You get all of the seniors before you and you see how much of an impact they made on the program, and the impact they made on the program was so positive that as you come up through your senior year you expect to make such a big and positive impact on the program as well. Our first senior is number 33, Sean Johnson. Sean has been a part of the Ole Miss program for the last three years. This way. Yo. Hey. This way. Congratulations, man. When I got out there, it was really hard not to cry, just because I knew my time here was over and that I was going to miss every part of this program, not just the people but the fans, the experience of playing. It just caught up to me all at once and it was a heartbreaker. Our next senior is number 25, Colby Bortles. [Inaudible] Bortles has been the team captain for the last two seasons. Congratulations, man. I’m proud of you. I’m glad I, you know, went through it, and I enjoyed it and, you know, hugged all my teammates afterwards. And, you know, I did cry. I purposely didn’t put on eye black that day so, you know, it wouldn’t be that noticeable, but, you know, it was a great experience. And, you know, I’m happy my family and my teammates were there for me and, you know, it was awesome. So much has been talked about this year about the young team and the number one ranked recruiting class and all the young guys on the field, and how we don’t have a lot of upperclassmen and how we only have two seniors. What’s not been talked a lot about is the leadership, just the presence that those guys had. And, you know, as I’m walking through the dugout this weekend, it’s amazing, of all the positive energy, the positive comments that have come out of both those guys, Sean and Colby. You know, they’ve made their mark on this program, and the fans have seen it, but, you know, they certainly have made their mark, you know, on this team, and in the dugout and in the locker room, and they’ve been great leaders for us. [Music]. Ryan Rolison gets the ball today, the left-hander, the youngster having a heck of a freshman campaign, six and two on the year, 53 innings at work, and a 2-1 ERA. Ryan’s been so consistent for us since we inserted him in that starting rotation back in week three, the Southeastern Conference play. Wasn’t quite the start, you know, especially after Friday night, that any of us would want where you walked a lead-off guy, you wild pitch him to second base, they move him over and, you know, of course their three hole guy gets him in, and now you find yourself down again. [Bat hits ball]. Ground ball rolled left side. This will get the run home as Kessinger will glove and throw to first in time for the out just to get Shewmake. That lead-off walk comes home for the Aggies, and they lead one to nothing. So, right move or wrong move, you want to shake it off and go after him, then shake it off and go after him. I mean, think along with me. You’re too smart. They got a guy that’s hitting 360 at bat, all right, and I got a guy that’s hitting 260 on deck, all right, but you got to make some pitches. You were talking about the routine. We got to make some pitch. You got to throw change-up or break ball or something in the zone your first inning; right? It all starts because you walked the first guy and then throw a 40-foot ball. It’s not you. It’d be different if you were just a 96 guy that didn’t have any command. You have it, and you’ve pitched like it. Don’t wait for the third inning to do it. Do it next inning; right? You’ve got all the pitches and you’ve got it, but I need you now. I don’t need you in the third inning when it’s, you know, one to zero and all that. I want you to put up a zero now; all right? Come on. Yeah, it was a little “come to Jesus,” you know? It was kind of to wake me up and, you know, you got to be locked in from the first pitch. And he said, you know, going out there and balancing 40-foot changeups is not you, you know, you’re giving them runs out there, and we need you today, we need this win, and we need you to go deep into the game. So, I kind of came out there with a chip on my shoulder; you know? I just had the mindset of going right at them and, you know, thinking that I’m the best up there, and going right at them, and, you know, here’s my fast ball, let’s see if you can hit it. 0-2 is over low. [Muffled shouting]. [Music]. That a boy. I pitch a little bit here. Lefty ready and delivers. Fast ball right down the middle. Come on, Rolo. It’s a one-two pitch. Strike three. Come on, Rolo. Big pitch. That a baby. Ryan’s feeling the flow out there as he is just shoving this four-seamer in on right-handers. The TV caught Mike Bianco between innings in I would say a stirring talk with Ryan Rolison. There was no question, Ryan was listening, Coach B. was talking. Come on now. Ryan Rolison has come out, I mean, locked in here in the second inning. He listened, huh? Swing and a miss. Struck him out on a pitch upstairs, and he strikes out the side. With three straight strikeouts, Rolison was back on track and dealing. He would give way to the bullpen mid-fourth. But despite them providing quality innings deep into the contest, the Rebs still found themselves down two runs. Bottom of the eighth inning, the Rebels trail the Aggies here in SEC Baseball in Oxford 4-2, with Fortes about to lead off for the Rebels. Four, five, and six, Olenek and then Tim Rowe. [Bat hits ball]. First pitch, base knocked right field. [Cheering]. Kopetsky comes up firing, so a lead-off single. Mike Bianco is going to call a TO just to calm this big center-fielder down. You got to be ready for the fast ball here; right? Take ball four, but I need you to be on time, right, because you’re going to get a fast ball right here. [Indiscernible]. Come on. Here’s the pitch. [Bat hits ball]. Ground ball, right side, base hit. Fortes is hitting the bag at second. He’s going to try to get to third. Down, down, down. Here comes the throw. It’s off line. And he’s safe on a head-first slide. The Rebels have runners at the corners with no outs. Some life in this building now, Dave Neal. Mike Bianco told us back at the fifth inning, he said we just need somebody to come up with a big hit. Well, here’s an opportunity for Tim Rowe to come up with a big hit. [Indiscernible] will throw to first. Olenek was going. The throw to second is in time for the out and they — oh, they call him safe. He’s safe. Yeah. That a boy. That a baby. Layoff off pitch, here it comes. [Bat hits ball]. Ground ball toward the shortstop. He backs up. Gloves. Missed it. [Cheering]. Go, go, go, go, go. One run scores. Here comes Olenek. He’s safe. And we’re tied at four. Yeah. Yeah. What a turn of events here, Dave Neal. And you hear some more applause, and that’s because they’re showing the Ole Miss Rebels softball team at the SEC tournament just won. I think if you’re in the stadium, you realize how the stadium kind of changed once you guys put the video of the softball team winning the Southeastern Conference tournament, the crowd kind of erupted at that point and kind of got a little more energy. But as you mentioned, what makes our games so great was, you know, times that you see during the season, during a game, like Grae Kessinger’s at-bat. And it’s no secret that he struggled offensively this year. They got a guy throwing 95, 96 miles an hour, and he just hangs in there, and probably has an eight to ten pitch at-bat, and fouls a bunch of pitches off. Fouled away. Keep your nose right on it. He delivers another fast ball. Fouled off right there at the plate. That a boy. He hadn’t been hitting them hard. He came and he just put the bat on it. Battling. Battling. Yes, he is. Grae’s battling here. And he fouls off another one. This is number nine. Pitch number nine. Every pitch that I was fouling off, I was thinking to myself, hey, I’m on this guy, I’m going to get him, I’m going to get him, and it just happening. Finally, left one off and over the middle, and I was able to put a good swing on it. Get up. Get up, ball. Get up, ball. Get up, ball. I hit it, I thought I had a chance to get out, and I saw the guy running. I was like, oh, that ball better keep carrying because nighttime at Swayze, it just doesn’t go, but it dropped in and I was fired up. It is off the base of the wall. Rowe is going to round third. Here he comes. They’ll throw to the plate. It’s going to be late. He’s safe. And Grae Kessinger has his best hit of his young career. You rarely see emotion like that out of Grae Kessinger; you know? He’s got the big league pedigree in his family, and usually plays it pretty smooth, but it was neat to see him at second base giving a bunch of fist pumps and the excitement that he had on his face, and well deserved with a huge at-bat for us. Woo. [Cheering]. Hell yeah. That a boy. Hey, two outs, no picks, good secondary lead. With the momentum on their side, the diamond Rebs would add an insurance run off the bat of Will Golsan, providing the save opportunity for fiery closer Dallas Woolfolk, who puts the “bull” in bullpen. This is exactly what you think of when you think closing, just a big physical dude who trusts his stuff and can push away with a swing and miss pitch. It’s without a doubt that when Dallas comes in, we’re winning the baseball game. The confidence and the mound presence he has is just intimidating. He looks seven-foot tall out there as far as, you know, how tough he is. He’s going to have steam coming off his head and, you know, he’s going to throw the ball as hard as he can, and, you know, he’ll let you know that he’s blowing it past you, too. Ole Miss six, Texas A&M four. Runner at first base, one out, one-two to Kopetsky. Dallas Woolfolk ready. Kicks, fires. Slider struck him out. He was not expecting it. Nailed the inside corner. Got him looking. Two away. It’s a pretty good breaking ball right there, just painted down and in. And here we go, the match-up we’ve been alluding to, the best hitter on the Aggies versus this closer for the Rebels. Quite a match up here with the game on the line. Woolfolk, kicks, fires a pitch. Swing and a miss. He struck him out. The Rebels come from behind and win a very important game here at home to even the series, a 6-4 final in front of the home folks on graduation Saturday. Hey, it’s a great dub [ph], man. It’s a great [dub]. A lot of — I mean, that’s one of the best college baseball games l I think you can watch. It was a dog fight. We all competed on both sides. I mean, it’s just one of the most fun games I’ve ever really been a part of. So, I mean, it was a blast. We’re watching some fireworks. We just beat A&M. Softball just beat LSU. It’s a great night. Great night to be a Rebel. Good job, man. Hey, Sean John, stay here. You happy these young bucks [indiscernible] with a W? Oh, yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Best senior night in Ole Miss history. Always good with the W. Best seniors in the country. The W wins. Best seniors in the country. I got a different view of it because I was in the bullpen the whole time. So, it was a cool feeling, hearing all the fans out there get rowdy for us. So, it was a good win and great hit by Grae to top it off. And not to mention Golzar’s [ph] little hit up the middle. Great, great game. [Laughter]. Got his head there. Not everyone can — Dude, is it you that always comes around and gets me? No, that’s the first time I’ve done it, but I’m glad I did. [Inaudible]. [Announcer]. How you feeling today? Great. Good. Arm up. Don’t get out on the side. Good. Go get them. Hey, do what they haven’t done on before you, and that’s attack the zone; right? Go right at them. Be aggressive. David Parkinson wasn’t the only arm getting warm. The mothers of the Rebels seniors prepared for their moment on the hill. You ready? [Cheering]. Cory [ph] Johnson and Suzy Bortles, give them a round of applause. We’re underway at Swayze Field thanks to all the moms. Every ball player wants to make momma proud, but when the game is played on Mother’s Day, it means even more. [Music]. Let’s go, doctor. [Indiscernible]. All right, all right, all right. Here comes Golsan. The throw is cut. Runners at the corners. One-nothing, Ole Miss. Oh, they’ve got the runner picked off. And they’re going to try to get the run home and they do. Did the run — yes, they’re going to count the run. Homan does all he can to try to get the tag, but Bortles scores and Ole Miss puts two on the board. So, that will take us to Hunter Coleman. Boy, right back to Parkinson. High throw. Kessinger, great catch. And they turn the double play. Swing and a miss. 94 miles an hour from David Parkinson. As good as the day began for Parkinson, the top of the third would find him in a tight spot that would only get tighter. At this inning, everything was up, right, even the first hitter, even though he may have hit a strike, you know, you threw a lot of balls above the waist, except for the one fast ball that shot in on that guy. So, you got to get back down in the zone, because this guy doesn’t swing a lot, you know, but it’s left on left. Ground ball, you know, we’re going for a double play back to you, you go there. If you can’t get third or first, let’s just get an out. You know, a slider, first pitch; right? You go with the sider, we need to mix it up. All right. Hey, listen, this is where we’re talking about. This is that back in here right now, all right. Lock in. Come on. For me, I kind of changed my mindset a little bit when I have runners on base because I know I’m going to let up hits. I know I’m going to get a few runs here and there, but my thing is I’m not going to give up multiple runs in an inning. And, for me, that was where I really tried to succeed was just making that pitch and really focusing on that pitch during the time, and just trying to figure it out. And one of the best hitters in this conference at the plate in the freshman Braden Shewmake. With bases loaded and one out, the top of the third had Parkinson in a surefire pitcher’s jam. Swing and miss, down in the dirt, and that is not an easy task. [Clapping]. Bases full of Aggies. And a two-two pitch. Swing and a miss. He struck him out. Maybe his best fast ball at 94. Parkinson would ace the test, providing six innings of lockdown pitching. But as the game moved into the eighth, the Rebels clung to a narrow two-run lead. It would take only one swing from Captain Tate Blackman to add another. One-one, swung on a fly ball, left field. That stroke — Kopetsky back to the wall. It is gone. Solo shot, Tate Blackman. That will extend the lead by a run. Keith, Kessinger and on. Or Tate could just wait one more pitch, swing at it, and hit a homerun. If the Rebels were to extend their four-to-one lead, they were going to need senior Colby Bortles to do it. My previous at-bat I struck out looking on a fast ball, and I was really frustrated about it. And I remember walking out to third base and, like, please looking up at the scoreboard, I was like, all right, I’m counting — like, I’m counting batters, and so I’m up next, and counting stuff, like, something has to go right. And then, you know, we got through the eighth, got a couple hits. Tate hit the homerun. You know, Will got on. I was like, all right, thank you. [Bat hits ball]. Oh, my goodness. Bortles, deep to left. Out of here. Incredible. Probably the best moment I’ve been in here at Ole Miss. I mean, that’s a guy that I got a lot of respect for. Great guy, great teammate, great leader, and definitely a great way for him to go out. You just had a feeling that Colby was going to have a big day in some way. You know, he’s such a good player. He rarely has a game where he doesn’t do something big like that. And for his mom to be there and see that, his brother, you know, his whole family, you know, Colby deserves that. He’s given so much to this program, such a great leader for all of us young guys, and it was just really a special moment. I couldn’t be happier for him. Here you go two, five. [Cheering]. Okay. I think what makes our games so great, you know, there’s moments that you can capture the true emotion of what’s going on, but that — that was a special moment, certainly for him, but I think, you know, one of the special moments of my coaching career. If you watch him run around the bases, he’s kind of looking around and it looks like he’s just soaking it in. And, man, I was smiling from ear to ear the whole time he was running around the bases, and I just couldn’t be prouder for anybody, the work and the effort and the great teammate that he is. It couldn’t happen to a better guy. Man, I got goosebumps. One for mom on Mother’s Day in your final game, here in front of the home folks. For the senior to graduate, bringing tears to mama. My mom was sitting with his mom during the game, and she said she started crying after he hit the homerun. And it’s just such a special moment for a guy who’s given four years to this program and everything he’s got, and built his way up to being the player that he is now. Being able to finish his career like that is just something special. What did that feel like? It was a good feeling, good feeling. You know, it could be the last game I’ll play here, and on Mother’s Day, it was special, and, you know, super proud of the way we played and everything. So, I’m still taking it all in right now and, you know, this is special. You’re trying to make me cry. It was special. And, you know, we got it done, and super proud. You know, I hit that homerun for my mom and, you know, everything. [Background noise]. I’m sorry. Good job. I’m so proud of you. Great job. That was so awesome. Legendary, but I’ll never get it back. Okay. You ready? Testing, one, two, three. Can you hear us? All right. We’re good. Let’s do something incredible right now. You got to do something way cooler than Ryan’s, like, “Oh, here’s my Instagram” thing, “I just want followers.” [Music]. [Speaking gibberish]. That’s not his best. But it might be. I don’t know. That’s a good swing. What if dogs actually, like, absolutely hate us? [Music]. Let’s go. [Quacking]. Ducks on the pond, baby. [Music].

14 thoughts on “The Season: Ole Miss Baseball – Senior Day 2017

  1. Colby going out with a BANG! #HottyToddy Going to miss him playing for y'all… Special player, Extraordinary man

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