Not much to say here. Ole Miss came in against an inferior non-conference foe—albeit a a strong team in their own regard and conference—and found a way to win. The Rebs dominated SEMO, 10-2, on Tuesday night with the help of freshman starter James McArthur. Then, behind the eight ball late in the game, the Rebs made a rally to win Wednesday night's game, 6-4, to sweep the midweek series.
Y'all may take that for granted, but just look around the league. Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas and Auburn have all dropped midweek games, while various other SEC schools have lost at least one game to weaker non-conference games during their weekend series. What about the Rebels? Their only loss on the year is to a lights-out pitching performance from top-five Louisville.
What's that mean for the future? Before the SEMO series, I asked some of my fellow Cuppers what record would they think the Rebs would have in the eight non-con games before taking on Tennessee. Personally, I felt if we went 8-0 or 7-1, it would make me feel even better about this team's legitimacy on the national scale. Well the Rebs are 3-0 so far and with five games left (maybe two or three with the weather looming this weekend), it looks like we've got a real ball club here that could make a push to ::CITY NAME REDACTED::.
Swayze Swag levels
Wyatt "Too" Short: Wyatt picked up his first win on the season on Wednesday night as he came in for 1.1 innings and completely shut down the Redhawks, striking out two and retiring all four batters he faced. Wyatt also continues his crazy jumbotron shenanigans during Love is Gone. His signature move is a scrunched up double chin face while pounding his fist in the air. Wednesday night, he had some sort of Addams Family cousin Itt wig covering his face, swinging it back and forth like a belly dancer skirt. Wyatt, I hope you keep your personality wacky and your fastball super dirty and cheesy.
James "Big Tex" McArthur: After a shaky first inning, giving up two hits and a run off a wild pitch, McArthur settled down and showed Rebel nation why the coaching staff continues to support his role as a midweek starter. McArthur went five innings, striking out six. A new-found control of his changeup made batters look downright silly swinging and whiffing.
Michael "Kung Fitz Panda" Fitzsimmons: The frosh came in as a pinch hitter for Holt Perdzock in the 7th and blasted a home run ball foul just beyond the pole. A couple pitches later, he straightened it out for a two run bomb to LF. The next inning, he doubled to score another RBI. Then Wednesday, he went 0-3 and Perdzock replaced him and got a hit. Who knows what's going on at the DH slot?
"Eazy" Errol Robinson: Errol is in a bit of early season slump but showed a bit of hope with his bat as he went a combined 3-10 over the week with a huge two strike double to score two in the Tuesday night game. He's currently batting .224. The big head scratcher for me is Errol's glove. His fielding percentage is 2nd lowest of the starters with a .922, right above Bortles with a .903. Maybe the pre-season All American hype is in his head a bit? Here's hoping he can turn it around.
Outfielder bats that don't belong to J.B "The Carpenter" Woodman: Aside from J.B., the outfield has been a hodge podge of who can play where and who's hitting the ball. After leading the team in batting average at the end of last season, Connor Cloyd has only started eight games and is hitting .167 in 18 at-bats. Ouch. Cameron Dishon is hitting .200 and Kyle Watson is at .227. Will this open the gate for highly touted frosh Ryan Olenek to get more starts in the outfield? Olenek got the start Wednesday night and showed out, going 2-for-4. With the same number of ABs as Cloyd, Olenek is hitting DOUBLE his average at .389.
SEMO LF Garrett Gandolfo:
When your last name is Gandolfo, you just have to wonder what came first: the wizard or the outfielder? Did J.R.R. Tolkien happen to know Garrett's distant relative and decide that Gandolfo was too goofy of a name for his wizard? Or did Garrett's (Spanish?) family heritage decide to engrave "YOU SHALL NOT PASS" on their family crest out of respect for the hobbit-loving wizard? The world may never find out. Either way, best believe Garrett got a mouthful of wizard-related heckling from the left-field terrace.
Left field terrace fans trying to catch HRs: SMH at this poor bloke that busted his rump trying to catch Will Golsan's dinger in the Wednesday game. Stick to your grill dude. More like Grillin & Spillin! (credit @etander1)
GRILLIN' AND CHILLIN'
As a child, my family and I would make annual summer trips to the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area. Because the trip down Highway 49 with two younger sisters was a constant yammer fest and we didn't enjoy the same luxuries as current day youngsters (don't all mini-vans come equipped with some form of TV/DVD combo now?), our parents desperately needed a way to shut our yappers. The solution? Pounds and pounds of boiled peanuts from any of the various trucks pulled off to the side of the road. Salty, spicy and slurpable, these nuts... OK hold on, lemme stop right there and move on to the recipe.
- 2 pounds raw peanuts
- 2-3 gallons of water
- 3 ounces salt
- beer, for drinking while you wait (optional)
I got my raw peanuts from the farmer's market in Oxford. I think they are New Mexico peanuts. Does it really matter where peanuts come from? I totally get Gulf Coast oysters tasting different than their East/West Coast cousins, but these are peanuts we are talking about here.
After further review, trying to boil a big pot of water over charcoal on a cool and windy night is not advised.
I did my darndest and kept adding charcoal through Tuesday night's game, but never felt good about the lingering crunch in some of the peanuts. I carefully took my pot home and let the peanuts soak overnight.
For Wednesday's game, I nuked the nuts in some tupperware and eventually ended up with some peanuts that tasted pretty good, but definitely not worth the time and hassle. I need way more than three ounces of salt and the shells weren't quite as tender as I had hoped. This whole process would be a lot easier in a kitchen on top of a range, so don't let my experiment discourage you.
The Rebels are planning to host Grambling State this weekend, but many forecasts show constant rain throughout the Friday and into Saturday. While Grambling State doesn't pose any real threat (Pitt swept them earlier in the season, outscoring them a combined 48-17), even having them on our schedule poses an RPI hit.
Next week I'll be road tripping to Birmingham to check out Regions Field and how the Diamondbears will fare against UAB.