Ole Miss vs. Baylor
Ole Miss freshman outfielder Thomas Dillard is back in the lineup for the Rebs after being out for the past two games with the flu. Word from Ole Miss staff is that everyone should be healthy after dealing with flu for the past week.
Rebels freshman catcher Cooper Johnson is legit. The main reason he highly sought after in the draft was because of his skills behind the plate. Johnson fell in draft because of sign-ability and his commitment to Ole Miss. In the first inning of their game, Johnson gunned down a runner at 2nd to end the inning on a reported 1.94 pop time to 2nd. As long as he can improve his offensive skills, he’ll be a sure-fire top round pick when he does decide to leave Ole Miss.
David Parkinson was underwhelming to say the least. Facing what is probably the easiest of their three opponents on the weekend, Parkinson struggled to keep the Ole Miss offense off-balance. After Parkinson though, Andy Pagnozzi pitched well only giving up one run in his 4 innings of work in relief.
Speaking of Baylor, starting pitcher Nick Lewis was impressive. Not a high velocity guy but was able to force some ugly swings out of Ole Miss. He pitched off of his changeup and kept them off balance mixing in his fastball. Staying low in the zone was his game all day, didn’t really allow Ole Miss to lift the ball with much power all day.
Baylor coach Steve Rodriguez was very pleased with his senior pitcher Lewis being the catalyst and getting things started for the weekend.
Texas Tech vs. Texas A&M
Freshman infielder Braden Shewmake is as advertised. He can swing it very well and will be a force to be reckoned with in the SEC. The left-handed hitter hit a home run in his second at-bat on Friday to right field at Minute Maid. Freshman DH Logan Foster also showed off some power with 3rd homer of the season. Bright futures for a couple Aggies.
Texas Tech starting pitcher Davis Martin only lasted 3.2 IP giving up 5 runs on 8 hits and only striking out 3. Red Raiders pitching wasn’t cutting it all day. A&M had 9 runs on 15 hits and neither of the guys out of the bullpen, Dylan Dusek and Jake McDonald, could slow down the A&M bats.
Texas A&M starter Brigham Hill continues pitch like he did all last season. Hill was hitting 91-92 on the radar, topping 93 and had command of all pitches the entire game. His ERA continues to stay at 0.00 through 20.2 IP with 28 K on the season including eight against Tech.
Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress was pleased with Hill’s performance especially after a pickoff-turned-double play helped get the momentum back in their dugout.
Hill on his eight strikeout performance, “I felt great. Early on, I wasn’t right where I wanted to be. Later on, I was able to develop my fastball.” He then added, “When you’ve got that type of run support, it makes my job a lot easier.”
TCU vs. LSU
Alex Lange was a huge disappointment for LSU on Friday. He only last 1.2 IP giving up 6 runs on 5 hits including a three-run HR by Austen Wade and a two-run HR from Luken Baker that sent Lange out of the game with both homers coming in the 2nd inning. Lange was able to limit damage in the first by stranding two runners on base to end the inning but couldn’t do the same in the second.
However TCU’s starting pitcher Brian Howard was able to turn around his outing after a shaky start. LSU had the predominately purple and gold crowd rocking early in the 1st inning as the Tigers put up a 4 spot on 5 hits with RBI’s coming from Greg Deichmann, Jake Slaughter (2) and Jordan Romero.
After the first inning, Brian Howard really settled down and found his groove. He gave up just 3 hits over the next 4+ innings and while striking out 5 Tigers.
Jim Schlossnagle on Howard, “He settled in enough, they hit some balls hard. But he certainly gave us five solid innings after the first inning.”
Freshman Charles King was very impressive in shutting down a potent LSU lineup until the 9th when they added a couple runs thanks to a few errors. King notched the save as he finished the last 4 innings after Howard went into the 6th but only faced one batter in that inning.
LSU’s Cole Freeman continues his hot streak to begin the season. Coming into the weekend, he was hitting an even .500 and added on to that with a 3-3, 2B, and BB performance against the Horned Frogs.
The LSU bullpen was a welcome sight as Austin Bain came in and gave 3.1 IP of relief and Russell Reynolds gave 3 IP of relief. Each gave up just one run but that will Reynolds’ ERA as it was 21.60 coming into the weekend.
Paul Mainieri on the bullpen’s performance, “When your Friday night game guy doesn’t get through the 2nd inning, it can put an awful lot of strain on your bullpen, but I thought Bain and Reynolds were spectacular and kept us in the game, saved our bullpen for the most part, for the next couple days.”