Alabama got their street cred last weekend taking two of three from an undefeated Georgia team. The Rebels have won 10 of their last 11 including taking two of three from Vanderbilt in Nashvegas last weekend.
Mike Bianco put Aaron Barrett in time-out for now, leaving him off the weekend rotation for the first time this season. Everyone I have talked with that are close to the team say that Bianco is waiting for good chances to build Barrett's confidence back up. What about teams like Vermont or Liberty? Oh, he didn't do well against them? What kind of opportunities is Bianco hoping for? 15 run leads against St. Louis?
We're in SEC play now. Barrett could be the next Will Kline, but he's quite a long row to hoe. Let's get after the weekend pitching match-ups.
Friday: Soph. LHP Drew Pomeranz(UM) vs. Sr. RHP Austin Hyatt(UA)
Pomeranz has had a little trouble with his control so far this season walking 10 in 11 innings pitched. His era hovers around three, giving Ole Miss quality starts when he's on the mound, but usually not lasting six plus innings. Pomeranz didn't crumble under the pressure of the Friday starter status against Vandy. I'm not nearly as confident about round two of this experiment due to 'Bama's .346 average and 39 HR this season. The Tide also draw about four walks a game.
Hyatt is a fifth year senior sporting a 4-0 record and a 2.00 ERA. He was a starter for 14 games for the Tide last year, and the Tide had a 9-5 record when he was on the mound. He seems to be improved from last season just looking at the stats.
Saturday: Jr. RHP Phillip Irwin(UM) vs. Fr. LHP Adam Morgan(UA)
Irwin continues to give the Rebels the best chance to win. I wouldn't mind him moving up to the Friday position to get a R-L-R set up on the weekend. He's walked only four in nearly 23 innings and has a Maddux like 1.59 ERA. Vandy was completely shut down in a seven inning complete game by Irwin last weekend.
Morgan has a 3-0 record, and the Rebels haven't really struggled against lefties this year. Morgan has compiled nearly a four to one strikeout to walk ratio, so if the Rebels are aggressive at the plate, we could get an early lead for Irwin to protect.
Sunday: Sr. RHP Brett Bukvich(UM) vs. TBA
Bukvich continues to shock everyone with a .90 ERA. That's the kind of stat you see on the softball team, but "The Stache" is bucking the trend. I've always thought Bukvich couldn't handle big game pressure very well, and he could very well be facing the rubber game match on Sunday. Bianceuax(correct spelling) will stick with him if he struggles early. If he is moderately successful(5 IP, 3 to 4 ER), the job should be his for the taking.
Logan Power continues to lead the team in nearly every offensive category that matters, but the Rebels are obviously not a Gorilla ball team by any means. The Rebels have only hit 16 home runs with a slugging percentage just over .400. Stealing 35 out of 42 bases is a good sign of our ability to play small ball. Matt Smith has been a disappointment in my opinion so far. He's striking out less, but his average and home run count are suffering as well. He seems to have the same second year regression that Jordan Henry and Zach Miller suffered through last year.
Friday: 'Bama 8 Ole Miss 5
Saturday: Ole Miss 7 'Bama 3
Sunday: Ole Miss 9 'Bama 7