Last night, Kyle Wright dominated, the bats (especially ones attached to the hands of Jones and Kendall) came to play, and the error-based luck went our way to the tune of a 6-1 series tying win. This afternoon, we go into the rubber match with the chance for a series win against the top team in the SEC West, with an opportunity to strengthen our case to be a National Seed host. Following today's game, we play Louisville on Tuesday in the Battle for the Barrel, then head right down to Jortsville to face the #1 team in the land. Strap yourselves in, and bow to your partner:
Saturday, May 7, 2:30pm SECN
On the Mound
TBA vs. RHP Kyle Simonds (7-1, 2.83)
*Note, I am writing this at 10am, and publishing it immediately afterward, so new information will likely have been released by the time of this game. Have to go to the Farmer's Market with the lady friend. My life is pretty much exactly the same as Frank the Tank's in Old School. Maybe more drinking.
Despite listing this as TBA at the beginning of the series, I'm nearly 100% certain you'll see Patrick "Mad Dog" Raby on the mound. He's earned the role as a Sunday starter. Beyond that, the great news is that our bullpen is stocked today, as the only two pitchers on the staff who will be unavailable are Friday and Saturday starters Jordan Sheffield and Kyle Wright. aTm cannot say the same, as their bullpen has been hit hard in the first two games, due to neither starter's ability to go deep in the game.
Mad Dog is 6-0 with a 1.90 ERA and a .150 batting average against. Beyond that, he is a control maven who has only walked 14 batters this season. If Vandy brings the same offense today as it had yesterday, Raby should be able to give them every shot to win. If, however, they play like Thursday night, and squander each and every RISP opportunity, this game could go extras.
Speaking of the offense, Alonzo Jones made a hell of an impact last night, and Corbs should reward him by keeping him in the lineup today. On the flip side, Walker Grisanti looked over-matched, so I'd be surprised to see him in the lineup today. As such, there's a more than likely chance we'll see Ro Coleman, and likely in the lead-off hole, which would be a mistake. Kendall should lead off, and there should be no debate about this.
The quandary remains, as we need the offensive output of Alonzo Jones and Ethan Paul in the lineup, but need the lock-down defense of Connor Kaiser at SS and Tyler Campbell at 2B. Luckily, Kaiser has been improving at the plate, concentrating on going up the middle and to opposite field. He drove in a run last night, but more importantly, he saved several. Unfortunately, Corbin did not try out either Paul or Jones at LF this fall, as that would have solved everything. At least our first base conundrum has been solved, as Julian "The Chin" Infante has been showing star potential.
Expect Ellison behind the plate, as he has been the Sunday guy all year. However, Delay has proven himself just slightly better both behind the plate and at the dish, so perhaps Corbs sees this and plays Delay in today's huge rubber game.
I'm heading to the farmer's market now, and then I'll plant some god damned flowers... but at 2:30pm, it is my time.
Let's make aTm go aTm. See you in the comments.
Hugs and kisses,