There wasn't a Going, Going, Gone! section because no reader wanted to endure what I would have said about Coach Bianco's coaching performance. Also, it is the end of the school year, and I am working to get all of my stuff done. With that in mind, here are a couple of tid-bits about this afternoons contest between USCe and our beloved Rebels.
This afternoon's game between the Rebels and the Gamecocks is an interesting match-up. On one hand, you have a team that has lost three straight series even though it has the SEC pitcher of the year on the squad. On the other hand, you have a 21-win SEC team who barely missed being the regular season SEC Title and is trying to play its way into a national seed. More about the match-up after the jump.
It's gonna be packed!
The Game is on: SportsSouth and ESPN3.com
What time is the game? No clue. Probably will start about 1 p.m. or so.
Whom do we play if we win? Winner of Alabama/Auburn which sold out for today. If we lose, we play the loser of those teams.
South Carolina dropped a hard fought series at home last weekend to Florida. Florida is playing great baseball right now, and its only series loss in SEC play was in Oxford. Back in Columbia in mid-April, South Carolina took the Friday and Saturday games of the series from the Rebels. The Sunday victory propelled Ole Miss to a 10 game winning streak. Hopefully, the Rebels will get back on track today.
The Rebel offense has been putrid. We've averaged 2.7 runs over the last 9 games. Since pounding the terrible pitching of Mississippi State, our offense has been on vacation. If we are going to get back on track offensively, we'll have to do it against a guy who pitched a complete game against the Rebels in Oxford last season. No, it's not Blake Cooper or Sam Dyson. Ray Tanner is holding his aces.
LHP Nolan Belcher enters today's contest with 3-0 record and 2.03 ERA. He'll try to out duel the SEC Pitcher of the Year.
LHP Drew Pomeranz has a 7-2 record and a 2.39 ERA. He has pitched well all season, but his record has suffered due to a lack of run support. He has one victory (@Tuscaloosa) since winning the Friday game against Tennessee on April 2nd. It is not an indictment of him; rather, it says a lot about how bad this team is offensively.
What needs to happen... Somewhere along the way, we have to find a way to manufacture runs. Swinging for the fences is a bad idea in Hoover. I think the magic number of runs we need to score is 5, and we can pull off the upset. Pomeranz goes 7 innings, and Huber enters to do his thing.
Bianco's teams have typically done well in Regions Park, and I hope that last season's 0-2 trip there was an aberration. Many are worried about coming into today having lost 5 in a row, but we've come into the post-season hot many times and how did that work out? Maybe we can begin a 9 game win streak today and get all the way to Omaha. Pomeranz is a big game pitcher, and there will be plenty of scouts present to make this game worthwhile to him. Also, the only SEC team over which Pom has not recorded a victory in his stellar career is South Carolina.
I'll take the Rebels in this one!