None should be all that shocked that the War Tigers dispatched the Show Me Tigers (spits) in the SEC-Big XII Challenge portion of the SEC Tournament, nor that they bludgeoned them 10-4. Now, they have to play an actual SEC baseball team.
Outside of the coaches, no one knows who will be on the mound for this one. The War Tigers used the Law firm of Vail, Isbell, and Crotchfelt (I swear, these are their actual names this time), so... not them.
‘23 Record: 34-19-1 (17-13 SEC).
This is the 2nd year in a row that the War Tigers are not just good enough to make the NCAA Tournament, but good enough to Host. That’s... not exactly normal in The Land of a Thousand Mascots. The good news is they no longer have that husky gabagool Sonny DiChiara hitting everything over the fence. You know... this guy:
Still, 17 wins in the SEC is enough to get your own Regional, but they might have designs on running through the whole damned tournament and giving the Selection Committee more to think about on National Seed Selection Day. Our job is to stop those Sentient Natty Light Spit Cans from getting what they want.
The War Tigers didn’t exactly challenge themselves in out of conference play—their top two weekend series opponents being Indiana and the USC that hasn’t been good at baseball since the 70s, really, though they did pop back into national prominence in the 90s, likely capitalizing on the steroid era, one can only assume.
In conference, they opened by getting swept by Arky (pretty understandable), then took 2 of 3 from Ugga and The Jorts in back to back weeks (the wins over the Jorts being pretty damned impressive). Following that, they lost back to back series 2 games to 1 to aTm (gross) and The Gumps (then Head Coach Bobo must have bet on his squad in that series). A visit from Clanga allowed them to get back in the win column (2 games to 1), and they kept that series streak alive against The Game Penises (also 2 to 1). Though they would lose the first game to LSU (most teams do), they went Happy-Go-Jacky on the Gumbo Bengals pitchers not named Skenes (most teams do), and took that series, as well. They then got to pad the resume against Ole Piss (most teams do) in their first conference sweep of the season, and followed that up with a sweep over Missourah (spits).
Are they as red hot as they look, or is it all scheduling interpretive jiggery pokery? Well, I guess we’ll find out today. They’ve won their last nine in a row (aided by cancelling their last two midweeks for... reasons), and Corbs and the Diamond Dores want to keep that streak in the single digits.
Player to Watch: #18 Fr. DH/C Ike “Irish Ike” Irish (.367/.433/.561 with 23 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, and 50 RBI). Irish Ike is certainly the best offensive freshman catcher in the league (and possibly all of college baseball), but is more of a DH than complete player at this point in his career. As such, they DH’d him yesterday, and he batted 6th in the lineup. Also, watch out for Sr. #8 3B Bryson “Sonny D Redux” Ware, as all he hits are long balls. He’s got 22 on the year, which are beer league numbers. He’s not as fat as their long ball guy from last year, and hence, unlikeable.
The whole War Tiger Offense is going to be a challenge, as they average 7.52 runs per game. Luckily, their pitching staff gives up 6.15 rpg. Unless you have a Paul Skenes type on the mound, you’re going to have to plate a bunch to win.
Anchor of Gold Tiger Beat Hottest Pitcher: #21 Grad LHP Tommy “Of Ignorance” Vail (5-1; 3.46 ERA). He’s been their #2 starter for most of the season, but also their best. They pitched him on short rest yesterday, so he will not be available today. If I have to guess, they’ll go with another short rest starter in #46 So. RHP Chase “Catsup” Alsup (1-1, 5.95 ERA), who, though he’s largely been their #1 of late, is much less effective. This is a mitzvah for Diamond Dore fans, as the only thing we hate more than a Veteran Crafty Lefty are those who drink with their butts.
On the Mound
Wednesday @ 8:00pm CT [editor’s note: Ha!] on SEC Network
#40 Vanderbilt Sr. RHP Sam “The Perfect Stranger” Hliboki (3-3; 5.40 ERA)
vs. #46 War Tigers So. RHP Chase “Catsup” Alsup (1-1, 5.95 ERA)
See you in the comments (hopefully around 8pm).