Pitching and defense win championships in my opinion. Obviously, you have to have a little offense, but largely clutch pitching and errorless games create a better winning percentage.
For the Rebels to be successful in the super regionals, it's no surprise that it will come down to Phillip Irwin and Drew Pomeranz.
Pomeranz nearly single-handedly won the Oxford regional, getting Ole Miss to the place where we are right now...two wins away from a trip to Omaha.
Pom should continue to throw smoke through this weekend, but the main question is, where will Bianco pitch him?
Irwin is starting Friday, putting our tested senior to probably the biggest game of his college career thus far. Irwin has good offspeed stuff, which should keep Cavalier bats off balance. Another thing working in Ole Miss' favor is the ability to hold runners at first. The Rebels pick off runners and rarely ever BALK, so this should help keep a quick Virginia team from running us to death.
If Irwin falls to UVA on Friday, Bianco has to go to Pomeranz. The only other options are not reasonable choices for an elimination game: Brett Bukvich and Nathan Baker. This is the position that Ole Miss is in, however, with the absence of Scott Bittle.
UVA has some great arms, and the Rebels have a few faults that could be capitalized on. Fastballs that aren't flat out spectacular are going to get hit by Ole Miss. The Rebels do struggle with the slow stuff as evidenced by the Sunday and Monday games against Western Kentucky.
The Cavaliers have two pitchers that are fantastic to counter Irwin and Pomeranz. Danny Hultzen might be the best freshman pitcher in the entire country sporting a hair above two ERA and striking out 90 in just over 80 innings. Andrew Carraway has a 7-1 record pitching as many innings as Hultzen but without as many K's. Opposing batters have only a .236 average against Carraway, however.
From there, UVA has guys like Robert Morey(3-0) who has a sub three ERA and shut down SDSU in the Irvine Regional last weekend.
Ole Miss is always ready to swing and needs to take advantage of every man who gets on base. All eyes will be on Jordan Henry to produce. If he has an 0-fer game, the Rebels will be in serious trouble.
The Rebels have to pitch like their lives are depending on it this weekend. The defense will back up our guys and continue to plug their holes. I worry about Zach Miller at 3B, because that side of the infield just looks more open than the old days of Cozart and Coghlan. I know they were both great players, but I compare past teams to present teams, so get over it.
Pitch well, Rebels. Omaha depends on it.