CATEGORY: Baseball


HED:Henderson changes for Ole Miss

By Todd Vinyard

Daily Journal

OXFORD - Brad Henderson doesn't mind where he is on the field next year for the Ole Miss Rebels, as long as there are more wins.

"The bottom line is more wins," Henderson said. "I haven't played second base since I was six or seven-years-old in Chesterville (a youth team in Tupelo), but where ever I need to play is fine as long as we win more games."

Henderson was the bright spot in the Rebels 22-31 overall and 3-15 SEC record last year. The former Tupelo High star led the team in hitting with a .402 batting average and 13 home runs.

Last season Henderson played first base and the outfield. This season Ole Miss head coach Pat Harrison says he is looking at playing Henderson anywhere in the infield except shortstop and most likely second base.

Henderson and the rest of the Rebel team began fall baseball practice which ends Oct. 24.

"We want to see how he does and how he works at second base," Harrison said. "We are trying to put in as much offense as we can. I think that was made very clear to us last year, that you have got to have the best bats you can in the lineup."

Henderson's move from first allows more playing time for sophomore Jude Voltz, who hit .304 last season.

After a season where he was Ole Miss' leader in doubles, triples, RBI's, and slugging percentage Henderson is not pressuring himself for a repeat.

"I just want that team to do well," Henderson said. "I am not worried about last year. Last year was last year and I have to get ready to do well this season."

One position Henderson will not have to worry about learning is shortstop. Three-year letterman Jason Huisman returns for his senior season. Huisman hit .321 last season. There are now three Huisman's playing for the Rebels. Jason and Josh have been joined by brother Justin.

"Jason gives us leadership," Harrison said. "We were glad he came back. I am sure having the chance to play with both his brothers was a factor. I don't think that has happened very often in college baseball."

Besides inserting more offense in the lineup Ole Miss will be looking for some pitching. The Rebels lost ace Dan DeYoung, who had 74 strikeouts last season, to graduation. Senior Lance Tolbert returns after leading the team in victories with five.

Ole Miss opens its season Feb. 13 in Oxford against Southeast Missouri State.

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