Locals making trek to Oxford for Super Regionals

Published 12:51 am Thursday, June 4, 2009

NATCHEZ — After knocking on the door for the last several years, Ole Miss has yet another chance to kick it down and finally get back to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

And several fans of the Rebels in the Miss-Lou wouldn’t miss it for anything.

Terry Estes is just one of several people in the area who are making the close to 5-hour trip up to Oxford to watch Ole Miss host Virginia in the best-of-three Super Regional, which starts at 1 p.m. Friday.

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“I’ll be up there on Friday and Saturday but can’t stay for Sunday,” Estes said. “Hopefully it will be over with on Saturday afternoon.”

Ole Miss hasn’t been to the College World Series since 1972 but is just two wins away from going back.

That’s a fact that isn’t lost on Estes, and he’s even looking to a little divine intervention for help.

“Me and my wife are taking our preacher (Dr. Doug Broome) and his wife so the team will have a little luck,” Estes said with a laugh. “I think we’ve got a great chance. With the home crowd, we’ve got a good chance to make it to the College World Series.”

Estes isn’t the only Ole Miss fan making the long trip this weekend.

Rebel supporter Bob Barrett is also heading up to North Mississippi today to watch the Rebels try and make it to Omaha.

Barrett also went to the Oxford Regional last weekend and said he has been to about 60 to 70 percent of all Ole Miss baseball games this season.

“I try to go up there as much as I can,” Barrett said. “When you retire, it’s what you work all your life for, so you might as well go and enjoy it. I’ve been going up there since 1959.”

And Barrett has been able to see first-hand just how much progress the baseball program has made since Mike Bianco took over as head coach in 2001.

“There’s been some up years and down years, but it’s been fun to watch and enjoy,” Barrett said. “Coach Bianco has put together a good program and the university has put together really a beautiful stadium.”

Barrett thinks that Ole Miss has a good chance of getting to Omaha, but knows Virginia will be a tough opponent.

“Virginia’s got a track record where they don’t give up much of anything,” Barrett said. “They jumped on UC Irvine pretty good (in the Irvine Regional last weekend). A key thing to the tournament will be the pitching staffs. We’re looking forward to our jaunt up, and I hope we can hang in there.”