From here on out, every game's an elimination game.
Now that I got that out of my system, here's a quick preview of the Ole Miss "A History of Overt Racisms."
*Note: This is not their actual name... yet. It totally should be. They're still the "Rebels," though they had to swap out their elderly Nathaniel Bedford Forrest look-a-like logo for a bear who frightens black children in hospitals. Of course, even that cosmetic change was met with extreme prejudice by those proud of their extreme prejudice. They also don't cotton to the gays, apparently, though, of course, that was quickly swept under the rug because the football team was winning.
Back to baseball: the Admiral Ackbars are 40-17 (19-11 SEC), ranked #10 by Baseball America, 14th in the USA Today Coaches Poll, and 13th in the RPI. We're 41-17 (17-13 SEC) 19, 10, and 6 respectively. As a team, they're hitting .306/.368/.419 to our .280/.364/.391. As you can tell by the slash line, the difference between the two teams is power. Their 36 HRs to our 21 tells the same story. However, Hooverville, just like the new T.D. Ameritrade Park in Omaha, is a notorious pitchers' park, and balls rarely travel further than the fencing they've set up in the outfield. This should neutralize the power gap, but if Beede leaves one high in the zone, Sikes Orvis (yes, that's a real human name given to a real human by real human parents), Will Allen, and/or Auston Bousfield can take him deep. That's not to say he should nibble on the edges all game, as that's not his strength, and they've got a few guys - most notably Braxton Lee and his 28/31 stolen bases - that will make you pay for walking them.
In short, we're very similar teams, numbers wise, and the game will likely come down to which Tyler Beede shows up. The good news, as you know by now, is Beede's either completely in the zone or a walk machine, and you always know by the end of the first inning which one he'll be that day. Unfortunately, his best two starts of the year (March 14th against LSU and May 15th against South Cackalacky), Jobu didn't come, our bats had fear, and we gave him little to no run support. That, too, needs to stop.
Pitching Match-Up (unless Corbin pulls a switcheroo like he did Wednesday):
RHP Tyler Beede (7-6, 3.42 ERA)
v. LHP Christian Trent (8-0, 2.44 ERA)
This should be a tough one, but, say it with me: "Go to hell, Ole Miss!"