Ole Miss eyes battle versus McNeese State
By By Austin Bishop/EMG regional sports director
May 31, 2003
This one has a familiar feeling for Ole Miss head baseball coach Mike Bianco.
For three years he tried to build up the McNeese State program up to the point where it could knock off foes from the major NCAA Division I conferences and win the big games in the NCAA Tournament.
Today, he will be trying to deny the Cowboys just that opportunity.
The Ole Miss Rebels face McNeese State at 11 a.m. in an elimination game in the NCAA Regional being played at Rice University in Houston. Ole Miss fell to Wichita State 4-2 on Friday, while McNeese lost a 10-inning heartbreaker to Rice by the score of 3-2.
None of the coaches, including veteran Wichita State head man Gene Stephenson, came into the four-team, double-elimination tournament overlooking McNeese, which came into the event with a 31-28 record.
Bianco coached at McNeese State from 1988-2000 posting an overall record of 100-71, while leading the Cowboys to the Southland Conference championship and an NCAA bid in 2000. Bianco, now 110-68-1 in is third season in Oxford, will be trying to lead the Rebels to their first victory in an NCAA Regional since they took a 10-2 win over Southern University in an elimination game two seasons ago.
Bianco said coming into the tournament that any of the four teams, including McNeese or his Rebels, had a chance to come away with the regional crown.