Bittle sits

Bianco decided to take his ace off the board. He kept Scott Bittle off the 25-man roster this weekend because of a shoulder injury. While Bittle has been tossing the ball with no pain, Bianco believes he’s not ready to pitch from the mound. Bittle, who’s been both a starter and closer this season, has been unavailable to the team since May 3, a stretch of nine games.

“His rehab this week has been more promising and we hope if we make it to a super regional he will be available,” Bianco said.

The top-seeded Rebels (40-17) will send Drew Pomeranz (6-4) to the mound against Monmouth (32-23). He’ll face a challenge from the Northeast Conference champions, who scored 35 runs in three games to clinch the league title.

Ole Miss’ starters haven’t been that impressive since Bittle’s injury and the Southeastern Conference co-champions are just 5-4 in that stretch. That includes two quick losses in the league tournament that left the Rebels disappointed and without a coveted national seed.

Bianco believes the team’s ready for the regional, though.

“We’ve had a good week of practice and a lot of energy,” Bianco said. “The kids have realized they have to put that behind them. If you play well this weekend, many folks will forget about the SEC tournament.”

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