23 Mar

second time around

The early leader for comeback player of the year from among Magnolia State colleges is, without a doubt, Tate Blackman of Ole Miss. The Florida native, a Louisville Slugger All-American as a prep senior, hit just .197 with nine RBIs in 39 games (36 starts) as a freshman for the Rebels in 2015. He had some moments – a game-winning run against Mississippi State, a walk-off hit vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, a good series against LSU – but overall, it was a rough first year. The second baseman has come back with a vengeance this spring: He went 2-for-4 with a home run on Tuesday as the Rebels (20-2) rolled to an 8-2 win over UT-Martin. Blackman leads Ole Miss with a .347 average and is tied for the team lead with 21 RBIs. He also has scored 20 runs. He’ll surely be in the Ferriss Trophy conversation down the road. P.S. Down went the heavyweights in the MACJC on Tuesday. Both Jones County Junior College and Meridian Community College lost for the first time in league play. Jones (now 5-1 and 22-2 overall) split a twinbill with Southwest (3-3), and MCC (5-1 and 20-2) split with Delta (3-1). Of note: In Southwest’s 4-1 win in Game 2 at Ellisville, Brady Anderson hit a game-turning grand slam off JCJC ace Calder Mikell, and Bears pitchers Braden Smith and Kaleb Clarke checked the slugging Bobcats on seven hits.

Mike Christensen

Mike Christensen

A long-time sports fan and 30-year newspaper veteran muses on all things baseball in Mississippi. Contact: mwchristens@gmail.com
Mike Christensen

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