The field is ready, the tickets are in the glove box, and the beer is on ice (not that needs to be today). Ole Miss baseball begins anew today at 4pm CST when the top-ranked Louisville Cardinals come into town.
Hosting the best team in the country, fresh off a third-place finish in the 2019 College World Series, with arguably the nation’s top pitcher on the mound probably isn’t what Mike Bianco envisioned when he signed up for this series, but here we are. The Rebs also host the No. 2 team in the country later in the year, with another guy who is arguably the best pitcher in the country in Vanderbilt’s Kumar Rocker, but that’s another trouble for another day.
With ace Reid Detmers on the mound, today has enough troubles of its own.
We don’t have many (or actually any) numbers so far for the 2020 season, so let’s take a look back at the past.
Welcome to Hotel Hell, owned and operated by Reid Detmers.
Detmers was dominant last year for the Cards. The 6’2 lefty from Illinois struck out 167 batters in his 113.1 innings pitched. That’s 13.3/per 9 if you’re curious. Detmers had the best WHIP on the team, a measly .92, and hitters hit just .177 against him. MLB scouts love Detmers, he fills the zone and throws a hefty fastball. But it’s his curveball that has folks like Pitching Ninja fawning over him.
Reid Detmers, Filthy Curveball (one of his stadium record 16 Ks in 7.2 innings). pic.twitter.com/RBMiO3iW4L— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 23, 2019
If Nikhazy can throw it back to last season, Friday could be a quick day at the ballpark.
Oh, yeah, the lineup is outstanding, too.
Anchoring the middle of the order for Louisville is sophomore Alex Binelas, a freshman All-American who only missed ACC Freshman of the Year honors because North Carolina had a frosh hit 18 home runs and 44 total extra base hits. Don’t let those numbers overshadowed what Binelas did for UL. He slugged 14 home runs, 14 doubles, 5 triples, and was a perfect 3-3 on stolen bases for good measure. In all, he slashed .291/.383/.612 and will be the centerpiece of one of the best offenses in the nation.
Hey, the Rebs got a dude as well.
Not to be outdone by the man playing the hot corner for Louisville, Tyler Keenan put up some gaudy numbers as a freshman as well and followed it that up by cutting down on his strikeout rate and tripling his total walks on the season as a sophomore. That gave him an equally impressive .285/.420/.506 slash line. That .926 OPS trailed only Thomas Dillard, so all in all not bad.
If the Rebels want to knock off the Cardinals and grab a huge early season series win, Tyler Keenan will be a big part of that.
Enjoy the weekend, because no matter what happens baseball is back.