On the Mound
Saturday @ 2:00pm CT on SECN+
#20 Vanderbilt Fr. LHP Carter “Southpaw Sonny Gray” Holton (3-0; 2.74 ERA)
vs. #25 Missourah So. RHP Austin “Pride of Fatima High” Troesser (3-0, 2.45 ERA)
1 cf 51 Enrique Bradfield Jr L .333
2 3b 11 Davis Diaz R .395
3 rf 34 Spencer Jones L .379
4 1b 12 Dominic Keegan R .433
5 dh 39 Gavin Casas L .414
6 c 16 Jack Bulger R .269
7 lf 2 Javier Vaz L .333
8 2b 6 Tate Kolwyck R .323
9 ss 9 Carter Young B .300
Missourah sent their ace out there to die last night. No, not initially, but by the 3rd inning, with the Diamond Dores up 7-0 and showing no signs of slowing down, Steve Bieser decided to concede Game One and not burn through the best arms in their bullpen. That’s what this offense, when humming, can do to an opponent—just make them give up and leave their Friday Night Ace in one extra inning as a sacrificial lamb.
Though last night was filled with offensive fireworks, the absolute best thing about it was seeing Mighty Carter Young play like he did this time last year, going 4-5 with 2 2B, 1 RBI, and 2 Runs scored. Not only that, what I saw was a hitter with his confidence 100% restored. He ripped doubles from both sides of the plate, had one single that was a line drive off the barrel, and on top of all of that, led off the 2nd with a perfectly placed bunt single. I would not be shocked to see him moved up in the lineup, perhaps even as high as #2 behind Shockwave, in the coming days. Heck, he should, at the very least, be swapped with Vaz at #7 today.
Speaking of offensive fireworks, check out Enrique Shockwave (4-6 with 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI and 3 Runs scored) and the Power Surge (tm):
Further, the Boys did an excellent job of situational hitting, with newly entrenched starter at first base, Gavin “The House” Casas, driving in 4 on only one hit (and no, it wasn’t a grand salami). Rather, Casas took what was given, hit two sac flies, and plated one via a FC grounder which drew a throw to the plate instead of to 1st. They might not be sexy, but productive outs are often the difference in Omaha. Good to see his approach evolve.
No one stole a base on either squad (Missourah having three baserunners the entire game probably helped), but the Dores still showed off their speed. Missourah, on the other hand, tried to swing for the fences all night, which... okay. You’re welcome to keep playing Home Run Derby while we play actual baseball. See which one ends up on top.
Make no mistake: last night was a brutal beating, and Bieser waited to throw in the towel until his ace was toast. Unless his bullpen is shallower than a Bravo reality show about wealthy people with no jobs who like to throw drinks at one another, that can do damage to Spencer “Les” Miles’ psyche. I mean, skipping him on the game one start last weekend (he could have pitched Saturday and still gone tonight, so just stop) likely had him questioning himself. This will make those worries grow. I certainly wouldn’t want to pitch for Bieser if I was a young ‘croot watching that game.
On the flip side, with Enrique Shockwave and Mighty Carter Young with 4 hit games, and Gavin “The House” Casas with 4 steaks himself, all Chris “McBain” McElvain had to do to get an easy win was throw strikes and make them put it in play. Though he gave up 2 solo dingers, he only walked one, so only had to pitch out of the stretch for 1⁄3 of an inning. You’ll take that any day of the week and twice on Sunday, especially against
SEC Big XII competition.
The final line for Chris “McBain” McElvain (W, 3-0):
6 IP 2 H 2 R 1 BB 8 K in 92 pitches (58 strikes).
#97 Fr. RHP Bryce “Big Richie” Cunningham and #77 So. LHP Brett “Mmm-Bop” Hansen closed things out with easy shutout innings in the 7th-9th. Cunningham only gave up one hit, and Hansen only walked one.
...and today, they have to face our best pitcher in Rev. Holton Heat. Sweet sassy molassy.
See you in the comments.