clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Baseball Series Preview: vs. The Ole Miss Admiral Ackbars

*Note: The Ole Miss Athletics Department has done their own internal investigation and determined Darth Vader did not strangle anyone with his mind, after all. (You just got allegory’d, bitches!)

Disney’s 2015 Star Wars Celebration Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Here’s the thing about the state of Mississippi: I hate it with a passion. Now that that’s been said, let’s talk baseball.

Week Five (3/16-3/18) vs. The Ole Miss Admiral Ackbars

Thursday @ 6:00pm CT on ESPNU

Friday @ 6:00pm CT on SECN+

Saturday @ 1:00pm CT on SEC Network

‘23 Record: 14-3 (0-0 SEC).

You know all about what Ole Piss did last year on the diamond. Well, unfortunately the 2022 National Champs have not yet followed the path of their in-state rivals and fallen off the face of the damned earth the season following winning their only ever College World Series.

Seriously, let’s take a minute to reflect on the beautiful ugliness that was the Clanga ‘22 season. 26-30 record—gorgeous. 9-21 SEC record—lovely. Last place in the conference and did not even qualify for the SEC Tournament, much less post-season play—stop, stop, I can only get so erect.

Okay, that will be the end of “Things Vanderbilt and Ole Piss Agree Upon” for the rest of the week. Back to the Rebellionists.

They’re 14-3, we’re 13-5. They’re ranked #3, #3, and #6 by D1 Baseball, ESPN, and Baseball America, respectively. We’re #6, #6, and #8. We’re all pitching; they’re all hitting. Seriously, every starting pitcher we will face this series has an ERA at or north of 5.00. Their relievers have been a bit better, but this is a team with a 4.84 ERA in out of conference play. Their opponents, though? A 9.64 ERA against Ole Piss’s monster of an offense.

Again, they’re the funhouse mirror version of us. So who will prevail? The team with all the pitching and not enough hitting, or vice versa? Tough to say. Let’s take a look at their competition.

Whereas Vandy has challenged themselves early, playing in a tourney against Big XII teams (fuck you, FloSports), a tourney against Big 10 teams (see you in hell, BTN+), and a home series against UCLA (#13, #13, and #12 in those same polls), has Ole Piss done the same?

In short, not really. While Ole Piss has played 3 against a Maryland team that was highly regarded going into the year, and took 2 of 3 from the HerpaTerps, the reality is that Maryland is 9-7 right now, and does not currently look like an NCAA Tourney team. Further, while they have played in one pre-season tourney that we did, it was the shittier one against Big 10 schools. In fairness to Ole Piss, they did sweep those three games, pounding the one Big 10 school that beat us (The Nebraska Cornshuckers) 14-5. It might matter that we were going against their Friday ace and they were up against Nebrasky’s Sunday guy, but why split hairs here?

Other than that, the Secession Sandinistas have taken three from Delaware (“Hi, we’re in Delaware”), split a 2 game set with La Tech, and swept Purdue. Again, there’s not a lot you can tell from any of these series, except for the fact that their bats will play and their arms struggle to stop the offenses of, well, anyone.

On the year, they’re slashing .337/.438/.577. We counter with .254/.365/.425. They have a 4.84 ERA as a team, and all three weekend starters are in the 5s. We counter with a 3.36 ERA and all three starters giving up about 2-3 runs per game.

Again, they are the polar opposite of us this year. So what will prevail? Arms or bats? The Immovable Object or The Unstoppable Force? Tastes Great or Less Filling?

Well, we’ll actually have to play the games to find out.

Player to Watch: #7 Jr. SS Jacob “War Hall” Gonzalez (.365/.529/.524 with 4 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, and 15 RBI). The mere fact that their lock of a first round pick SS is perhaps their 5th best hitter thus far this year makes me want to vomit. He’d be number one with a bullet on our squad, and I doubt you’ll find one person (who’s not an idiot) who would disagree with me on this fact. Simply put: when someone’s been on base more often than they have gotten out, they’re dangerous. With thumpers like Kemp “Real Human Name” Alderman, Peyton “Cajun Manning” Chatagnier, and TJ “McCan” McCants in the lineup, you cannot exactly pitch around Gonzalez, either.

Anchor of Gold Tiger Beat Hottest Pitcher: Basically no one, as even their Game One starter has a 5.00 ERA. Still, for the purpose of this exercise, I’ll give it to #45 So RHP Mason “The Bricklayer” Nichols (1-0; 1.00 ERA; 11.00 K/9; 2 SV).

On the Mound

Thursday @ 6:00pm CT on ESPNU

#20 Vanderbilt So. LHP Carter “Rev. Holton Heat” Holton (1-0; 2.21 ERA)

vs. #39 Ole Piss Jr. RHP Jack “Jack Donaghy” Dougherty (2-1, 5.00 ERA)

Friday @ 6:00pm CT on SECN+

#33 Vanderbilt Jr. LHP Hunter “Mr. Manager” Owen (1-0; 3.20 ERA)

vs. #25 Ole Piss Fr. RHP Grayson “Le Hot House” Saunier (1-0; 5.74 ERA)

Saturday @ 1:00pm CT on SEC Network

#95 Vanderbilt So. LHP Devin “The Future” Futrell (3-1; 2.87 ERA)

vs. #33 Ole Piss Jr. LHP Xavier “The Jesuit” Rivas (4-0, 5.40 ERA)

The Lineup

See you in the comments.