The last 2012 home weekend at Swayze Field before the postseason (no, I didn't keep a straight face while typing that) is upon us, as the Tennessee Volunteers travel to our fair Mississippian hamlet to take on our Diamond Rebels. Tennessee isn't so much a "good" baseball team this year, with a 24-24 record overall and an 8-16 record in conference. The Rebels will be crossing their fingers really hard and hoping for their first sweep of the season, the only scenario that could get the Rebels back to a +.500 record in SEC play leading into the final series of the season at Vanderbilt.
Offensively, Tennessee is led by Will Maddox. I know that batting average is a somewhat misleading statistic in that it only tells part of the story, but he's the only guy on the team with a batting average over .300. As a team, they bat .255 which is, like, really bad. A guy named Drew Steckenrider leads them in home runs with six, which means that they're not a particularly powerful team either. Statistically, they're about as good as Mississippi State at the plate.
What makes them much, much worse than Mississippi State, though (remember, State took a series from us, and it sucked) is the fact that they don't really have much in the way of pitching. Their team ERA is 4.29, which is only better than Vanderbilt and Alabama in that category. Tonight they'll bring out lefty Dalton Saberhagan, who is 5-1. That, alone, is misleading though, because Saberhagan's work has been mostly in relief (that's right, Tennessee doesn't have a consistent Friday starter), as he's only started once and pitched just 24.2 innings this season. He has 12 strikeouts with 13 walks, to boot, so maybe he can't throw strikes.
Then again, maybe he'll blank us. Who knows at this point.
On Saturday they'll pitch sophomore Nick Williams. On Sunday, they too will pitch TBD. I don't know how TBD plans to
bitch pitch (whoops) for both Ole Miss and Tennessee, but I'm guessing they'll make it work out somehow.
Game times are Friday at 6:30 PM, Saturday at 4:00 PM, and Sunday at 1:30 PM. Saturday's game should be on television so check your local listings. OPEN THREAD is below.