Ole Miss Catcher Eli Berch Enters Transfer Portal - Report

Ole Miss Rebels catcher Eli Berch has reportedly entered the transfer portal.
Ole Miss catcher Eli Berch vs. Arkansas-Little Rock at Oxford-University Stadium in Oxford, Miss. on Tuesday, February 27, 2024. Ole Miss won 12-6. (  Bruce Newman)
Ole Miss catcher Eli Berch vs. Arkansas-Little Rock at Oxford-University Stadium in Oxford, Miss. on Tuesday, February 27, 2024. Ole Miss won 12-6. ( Bruce Newman) / Bruce Newman/Special to Clarion Ledger /

The Ole Miss Rebels baseball program looks to go through somewhat of an overhaul this offseason as the search for a pitching coach is underway and action in the transfer portal continues to take shape.

The latest news, according to reports from Chase Parham of Rivals.com, is that catcher Eli Berch has entered the transfer portal, leaving the Rebels with one catcher not in the portal in Oxford High School product Campbell Smithwick.

In his lone season with the Rebels, Berch saw action in 36 games with 27 starts, hitting for a .207 average with one home run and eight RBI. He also had two errors on the season defensively and held a fielding percentage of .993.

Berch is now the seventh Ole Miss player to officially enter the transfer portal this offseason, joining the likes of Cole Tolbert (P), Corey Braun (P), John Kramer (OF), Gabe Smith (P), Seth Farni (OF), and Trenton Lyons (C). Of these portal departures, Berch, by far, saw the most playing time for the Rebels in 2024, and they will now need to supplement their catcher position this offseason.

Ole Miss missed the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season in 2024, seeing their campaign come to a close in walk-off fashion against the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the first round of the SEC Tournament in Hoover. These back-to-back postseason misses come on the heels of the Rebels claiming their first national championship in program history in 2022, and despite retaining head coach Mike Bianco for another season, some staff changes appear to be on the way.

"We are out in the market right now looking for a pitching coach, and I think that's going to be a really cool addition," athletic director Keith Carter said. "It's really changing with the times, allowing Coach B to be more of a manager. Allow the pitching coach to really handle the pitchers.

"That's a big responsibility. You think about a roster of 40 or so, over half of those are pitchers, so you're spending a lot of time with those."


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John Macon Gillespie

JOHN MACON GILLESPIE

John Macon Gillespie is the publisher of The Grove Report and has experience on the Ole Miss beat spanning five years.