Patrick Ochs

St. Stanislaus’ Greer Holston standing out in loaded Ole Miss freshman class

Former St. Stanislaus ace Greer Holston has seen immediate playing time at Ole Miss as a freshman.
Former St. Stanislaus ace Greer Holston has seen immediate playing time at Ole Miss as a freshman. Ole Miss athletics

When Greer Holston signed with Ole Miss he knew he was joining a loaded incoming class.

Many of his counterparts had their names kicked around as potentially high MLB draft selections. And while the former St. Stanislaus product also received interest from MLB teams, he didn’t quite receive the same national recognition as fellow freshmen signees like Grae Kessinger, Cooper Johnson, Thomas Dillard and others.

Once the fall ball season opened, Holston hoped to start but knew a crowded arsenal of highly-touted arms might force him to the pen. As the fall progressed, Holston continued to do more than merely hold his own. He belonged in the starting conversation and Ole Miss’ coaches took notice.

Seventeen games into the 2017 season, Holston has seen regular playing time with six appearances and two starts. His 14  2/3 innings were fifth-most on the roster heading into Tuesday’s game against Nicholls at MGM Park.

“To a man from Day 1 he's probably been the most consistent of any of the guys in that recruiting class,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco told the Sun Herald on Monday. “We felt really comfortable with him.”

His first collegiate start on Feb. 28 against Memphis ended up being a difficult one. Bianco chalked at least some of his misfortune up to “that’s baseball.” Holston surrendered five runs (four earned) against five hits and one hit batter in four innings. He also struck out four, a game-high. Ole Miss ultimately committed four errors in the 9-6 loss.

Holston quickly regrouped and turned in a much better showing Sunday in his second start. Asked to start on the weekend due to an injury to James McArthur, Holston didn’t just answer the call.

Holston scattered two hits and two walks over seven innings, striking out six in the 1-0 victory over Furman.

“Certainly very proud of the way he performed,” Bianco said. “The way we've been swinging, we needed every bit out of him and he gave it to us. He pitched seven shutout innings and really dominated the game.”

Holston is currently 0-1 with a 2.45 ERA. He has held opponents to a .196 batting average and has struck out 16 against six walks.

“I think he has great stuff. He hit 95 in the game and averaged 91, which is really premium stuff. The breaking ball is really, really good. He throws a slider but it's more slurvish with a lot of downward break to it. It's a swing-and-miss pitch,” Bianco said. “He's certainly a strikeout guy, but he fills up the zone. It's not like he's a power arm who throws a lot of swing-and-miss stuff but isn't in the zone. He has about as good of command as anyone on our team.”

Asked about Holston’s potential, Bianco said something many Rockachaw fans who saw Holston play at St. Stanislaus have known for a few years.

“He’s super talented and going to be a star here,” he said.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs