The thing about baseball is every time you go to a game, you can see something you’ve never seen before. Last night, we saw an all-timer:
People in Arkansas are built different. Just pulled a raccoon off the field. Fearless pic.twitter.com/ujUW21boSC— 11Point7: The College Baseball Podcast (@11point7) May 14, 2022
Oh, and we beat the #4 team in the land 9-6 in extras in their own stadium.
But back to that raccoon!
Nants ingonyama bagithi baba!— Andrew VU '04 (@AndrewVU041) May 14, 2022
Sithi uhm ingonyama. https://t.co/HwKpocxxMu
All this (gestures around Fayetteville) will be yours some day.
Okay, but there was a baseball game too, and a hell of one. Devin “The Future” Futrell got his first SEC start of the year, and though they got to him his third time through the lineup, he looked excellent in the first 3 IP (and pretty good in the 4th). The problem, largely, was that Corbs and Brownie were too slow to pull him. This game would have been a lot easier with a Christian Little piggyback (just saying).
In fact, The Future started things off with a 1-2-3 1st, then faced only 4 batters in the 2nd.
On the offensive side of things, it was the Parker Noland show early, as he went all “The Nolander” against Arky starter Conor Noland.
In the 2nd inning, with the game knotted up at 0, Noland yelled, “There can only be one!” and smashed an oppo 2 run dinger.
The Dores also managed some small ball runs in the 2nd, with Shockwave safety squeeze plating Tater, and a Diaz de los Muertos RBI single plating Young.
Futrell also battled well to get out of a 2nd and 3rd, 1 down jam in the 3rd to keep the game 5-0 Dores. In the 4th, he surrendered a leadoff HR to cut the lead to 4, but otherwise took no damage. It was certainly understandable to put him back out there in the 5th, but it would have been wise to have Little or Reilly getting loose in the pen after Battles hit a leadoff 2B. I’m not saying I would have pulled him then, but after Moore hit a 2 run shot to make it a 5-3 game? Yeah... that would have been the time. Instead, Corbs and Brownie let Futrell stay in, and he promptly gave up another dinger to Slavens that still hasn’t landed.
Corbs and Brownie still didn’t take Futrell out even after back to back jacks made it a 1 run game. I... have no words for that. The Future would get a fly out to CF to end it, but come on.
It shouldn’t be shocking that a veteran lineup as talented as Arky’s would get to a freshman pitcher making his first SEC start the 3rd time through the lineup. As such, you’ve got to wonder why no one was in the pen in the 5th. Both Arky and Vanderbilt have deep veteran bullpens. You have to be willing to use them.
Speaking of bad bullpen management, they let Maldo rot on the vine in the 6th, as well, as 1) He just didn’t have it today, and it should have been evident in the bullpen session, if not after watching his stuff against the first hitter, and 2) They let him give up the tying run and then load the bases before finally making a call to The Son of Sam in the pen. Had Dom Keegan not turned the prettiest double play I’ve seen all year, we lose this game. Seriously.
The Bulge would hit a solo shot to take the lead back at 6-5 in the top of the 6th...
...only for Dr. Jones to go all Arky in Omaha on a routine pop fly—but this was worse, as it was in fair territory—and let them tie it right back up in the bottom half of the frame. I don’t have a video clip for that one, and for that, I am glad.
From there, it was an All-SEC Closer’s duel between Arky’s freshman The Tygart King and Vanderbilt’s Thomas “The Mayor” Schultz. Neither disappointed, but Schultz got the win after the most exciting man in baseball ending things for good:
The Diamond Dores are up 1-0 in the series, with a great matchup between McBain and some expensive ice cream on the docket tonight.
Let’s take the series (please and thank you).
On the Mound
Saturday @ 6:30pm CT on SECN+
#35 Vanderbilt Jr. RHP Chris “McBain” McElvain (5-3; 3.48 ERA)
vs. #33 Arky Fr. LHP Hagen “The Dazs” Smith (6-2, 3.79 ERA)
1 cf 51 Enrique Bradfield Jr L .305
2 c 16 Jack Bulger R .280
3 rf 34 Spencer Jones L .375
4 1b 12 Dominic Keegan R .389
5 lf 2 Javier Vaz L .274
6 3b 11 Davis Diaz R .238
7 dh 10 T.J. McKenzie R .333
8 2b 6 Tate Kolwyck R .264
9 ss 9 Carter Young B .209
See you in the comments.