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Saint Louis’ ace pitcher wants to ‘kick some tail’ against Ole Miss

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Here’s the scouting report on Miller Hogan.

Josh McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics

Saint Louis University pitcher Miller Hogan certainly won’t lack in confidence when he takes the mound against SEC champ Ole Miss in Friday’s first-round NCAA Tourney game.

“I want to roll into an SEC school in front of 10,000 people on a Friday night and show them that [even though] we don’t have all that fancy gear and stuff we can still play a little ball,” Hogan told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I think that’s how we all feel. We’re going to go out there and we’re going to really take it to them. We don’t want to play scared. We think we’re pretty good at this, so we’re going to go out there and try to kick some tail.”

Those would be hollow words coming from most four-seeds, which typically make the 64-team tournament as automatic qualifiers by winning a minor conference (in SLU’s case, the Atlantic 10). But Hogan, who sports a 2.19 ERA and is projected to go in the top eight rounds of the upcoming MLB Draft, gives the Billikens a legit Friday-night ace and the potential to cause headaches for the host in Oxford.

“Unfortunately for us they have an ace,” Rebel coach Mike Bianco told Rebel Grove. “You know how I feel about that. The first thing you look at with the four-seed is if they have an ace pitcher, and they certainly do in Hogan, a guy that has a 2 ERA and 120-something strikeouts in 100 innings.”

Hogan comes into the Oxford Regional with some gaudy numbers: a 10-3 record with a .196 opponent batting average, 129 strikeouts and just 12 walks through 102.2 innings.

Miller Hogan’s 2018 starts

RPI Result Score Opponent IP H R ER BB K BF Pitch Strikes Balls Strike % WHIP K % ERA
RPI Result Score Opponent IP H R ER BB K BF Pitch Strikes Balls Strike % WHIP K % ERA
248 L 8-3 Old Dominion 6 7 1 1 0 8 26 85 59 26 69.41% 1.17 30.77% 1.50
97 L 7-3 Notre Dame 6 6 5 4 2 5 26 104 72 32 69.23% 1.33 19.23% 6.00
261 W 7-2 Chicago State 6 6 2 2 1 7 24 103 71 32 68.93% 1.17 29.17% 3.00
249 W 9-3 Oakland 7 3 1 1 1 9 24 94 62 32 65.96% 0.57 37.50% 1.29
31 W 15-1 Purdue 6 5 1 0 0 7 23 76 52 24 68.42% 0.83 30.43% 0.00
227 W 4-1 St. Joe's 9 5 1 1 1 11 31 121 82 39 67.77% 0.67 35.48% 1.00
128 L 4-2 VCU 6.667 4 4 4 1 9 25 94 67 27 71.28% 0.75 36.00% 5.40
259 W 6-1 UMass 7 3 1 1 0 11 26 90 66 24 73.33% 0.43 42.31% 1.29
186 W 9-8 Dayton 6 4 2 1 3 7 27 96 68 28 70.83% 1.17 25.93% 1.50
21 L 3-2 Jacksonville 7 3 1 1 1 9 26 121 77 44 63.64% 0.57 34.62% 1.29
283 W 5-0 LaSalle 9 3 0 0 0 9 31 102 72 30 70.59% 0.33 29.03% 0.00
99 L 4-3 Davidson 7 7 4 4 1 7 29 96 68 28 70.83% 1.14 24.14% 5.14
277 W 9-1 St. Bonaventure 7 4 1 1 1 9 27 87 63 24 72.41% 0.71 33.33% 1.29
104 W 7-1 George Wash. 6 5 1 1 0 12 23 84 61 23 72.62% 0.83 52.17% 1.50
99 W 11-5 Davidson 7 8 4 3 0 9 29 106 70 36 66.04% 1.14 31.03% 3.86
TOTAL 102.667 73 29 25 12 129 397 1459 1010 449 69.23% 0.83 32.49% 2.19

But those numbers were piled up against pretty weak competition. Of Hogan’s 15 starts, more came against teams outside the RPI top 240 (six) than inside the top 100 (five). Against those top 100 opponents (Notre Dame, Purdue, Jacksonville, and Davidson twice), Hogan struck out 37 batters in 33 innings and saw his WHIP rise to 1.00. Facing the bottom of the barrel, Hogan had 53 strikeouts in 42 innings and posted a minuscule WHIP of 0.69.

But no offense Hogan faced all season long will feature the talent or depth Ole Miss has throughout the lineup. The Rebels lead the SEC with a team batting average of .303 and rank among the top 15 nationally in home runs and slugging percentage. That’s thanks to one of the most balances lineups in the country: every one of Ole Miss’ regular starters has at least three home runs and all but one is hitting over .300. Hogan will find no easy outs on Friday.

That won’t keep him from coming right at Rebel hitters. A guy with a 10:1 strikeout to walk ratio doesn’t nibble at the edges; he’ll fill the strike zone with a low-80s fastball that can be in the neighborhood of 92 at times. That may be exactly what the Ole Miss offense wants. Those kind of numbers fit perfectly as a player too good for a league like the A-10 and just enough to get you hammered in the SEC.

Hogan also hasn’t played in front of a crowd anywhere near what he’ll see at Swayze, which set an attendance record with over 12,000 earlier this season. SLU’s largest crowd this year was a whopping 411. In Hogan’s 15 starts this season, the total attendance for Saint Louis games is about 3,700 people. That means he’ll pitch in front of three times more people on Friday than he’s pitched in front of his entire season combined. If you don’t think that affects guys who aren’t used to playing in front of big crowds, read what it was like for a Washington outfielder when Ole Miss hosted a regional in 2014.