As of the writing of this post, the new Top 25 lists had not come out yet. My guess is that the Rebels will move up a couple of spots after an impressive 4-1 week.
As you may recall, the Rebels won against Arkansas State at Jonesboro, beat Memphis at home, and then took two of three from the streaking Crimson Tide here at Swayze Field.
The pitching on Friday and Saturday was really good by the Rebels. However, there were some shocking moments on the mound this weekend:
- Scott Bittle enters the game in the eighth inning to record an out. He does, but he falls apart in the ninth after striking out the first batter he faced. In the end, he issued 6 walks and only faced 10 batters. He allowed 3 runs in the top of the ninth which left the Rebels down 7-5, but the 3-run rally saved the game in the bottom of the ninth. I would say Bittle's meltdown is a shock.
- Sunday pitching. What the heck happened there? Bukvich got the start after a great game on Tuesday. He gave up 7 runs on 6 hits in .2 innings of work. No one could cool the bats down until Goforth entered and threw 3.2 scoreless innnigs. However, it was too little too late as the Rebels fell 19-6.
Ivory Tower posed the question: is it that big of a deal?
No, it isn't. I don't believe that our team is really that bad on Sundays. I truly think what happened on Sunday was a product of Alabama's offense finally coming alive after being kept silent all weekend and Brett Bukvich pitching. So, it's an aberration.
As many of you cup readers know, I am not a huge fan of our baseball coach. However, I think starting Bittle on Sunday is a great idea. It takes the pressure off of him, and it will allow him to regain his confidence and "stuff." Good call, Mike Bianco.
I was also really impressed with Jake Morgan's performance on Saturday. He struck out the last six batters he faced, and I believe that is what our closer should do. I feel good about our closer with the emergence and consistency of Jake Morgan.
I think the 4-1 performance last week was really important for this team, and I think we are in a much better position now than we were two weeks ago.
The Rebels will face St. Louis in Oxford on Tuesday. They sport an 11-10 record and 184 RPI. On Wednesday, the Rebels will travel to Hattiesburg to face the Golden Eagles of Southern Miss. They recently dropped a series to Rice, but they are 13-8 with an RPI of 54. This weekend will be a tough test as the Rebels travel to LSU for a weekend series. LSU recently took 2 of 3 at South Carolina, have an RPI of 9, and are playing some great baseball.
This will be a tough week for the Rebs, but we should see just how tough this team is.