Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday thoughts after Auburn

Following our home run bing this past Sunday at Kentucky, I was thinking we were getting hot at the plate. Then 3 games in a row of not even scoring! Rock bottom.

Today we scratched out a win. I certainly didn't see us at 3-6 at this point. I predicted 6-3.

These players have certainly had their downs this season, pitchers and hitters. Which begs me to think they will come out of this bad spell and really play well. These guys have learned a lot. They have plenty of talent to win many more games.

I think John Cohen may have settled on the infield. Seniors Wes Rea at 1B, Seth Heck at 3B, junior John Holland at 2B and freshman phenom Ryan Gridley at SS. Holland is starting to get hot at the plate which we really needed.

I really think JC transfer Michael Smith needs more PT. He is extremely talented. He, Cody Brown, Jacob Robson, and Jake Vickerson should be the OF the rest of the season.

We have finally getting quality starts from our pitchers.

A huge boost is having Gavin Collins back in the everyday lineup. He will only get better.

I truly believe we will get hot at the plate and everything will come together. Once we get into the SECT, RPI and record come into play. We can get an at large bid and play to get to Omaha.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday at Kentucky

Finally, the bats did their job. And we still had more chances to score more.

Gavin Collins and Reid Humphreys are the power hitters, they must bat each game and not bunt! I still think the batting order could be better, Cody Brown is not cleanup. Hump is cleanup.

Robson, Heck, Collins, Hump, Rea is what the first 5 should be for a while.

Moonlight Tatum may have to move to Friday night starter. He's getting better each time out.

The batters got confident today. They made huge strides. Confidence is huge in life. They know they can hit the ball.

Still got guys injured or slumping: Michael Smith and John Holland, those two need to play more down the stretch.

This win should give us a boost for USM and Auburn. The players will continue to work hard.

The non conference games are even more important now. We need Lucas Laster to dominate each time.

The goal of 35-40 wins is still attainable of course. This win total will get us into SEC tournament and a regional. Then we need to get hot.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Kentucky first 2 games

What is wring with our beloved baseball team? What can go wrong has? Starting pitching does great, relief pitching flops, we lose. Pitching does great the whole game, we can't hit w RISP to win. We make errors, we make base running mistakes. What is up?

I'm pretty high on this team coming in to the season. The mix of veterans with JC players seemed good. The sophomores were highly ranked two years ago. We have a lot of college experience!

Preston Brown struggles Friday night, we have several chances to score runs but hit it right at someone, double plays. Saturdays game starts out bad and we fall behind 9-3 but score 4 in the 9th before losing.

One nagging problem might have been fixed, Gavin Collins played. He had 2 hits, he is a catalyst. If he can play every game the rest of the season!

The batting lineup. I know the coaches sit down and go over it but they need to settle on it. At least 7 spots in my mind are filled. Having Cody Brown bat cleanup and then try to bunt for a hit is not it. Cleanup hitter hits HRs.

1-Robson
2-Heck
3-Collins
4-Humphreys
5-Rea

This should be it for the time being. I wish speedy RF Michael Smith would get going. Rooker, Brown, Lovelady, Smith, Britton, Reynolds, Spruill all need to hit after these 5. Why? We need to bunch hits together! That is how lots of runs are scored!

Pitching. Most part the starters have done great. The bullpen is fluid. I have full confidence in Butch Thompson. He will get it done.

Confidence is a big issue, I think. How you instill it or get it, I don't know. John Cohen says we will get out of it with hard work. I think we will turn it around.

I didn't predict we would struggle this bad in all phases. If we do get rolling at the right time, we can make a run in the postseason. It all depends on the players attitude and how confident they can be in their abilities.

Interesting note about what the players said from the fall to the spring: several said they never been on a team with such great chemistry. Keep that in the back of your mind.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Eastern Illinois thoughts

Its always good to win in the midweek. Eastern Illinois losing record is deceptive. They have played Georgia, Arkansas, Austin Peay and Memphis.

Lucas Laster was terrific. Just what we needed. He has to pitch us to wins versus Ole Miss and Southern Miss when we play those two in Pearl. We need the wins and RPI.

RHP Paul Young did go to the bullpen and warmed up. Really need his arm. Let's hope he can get some innings soon and become a factor.

Defense again was outstanding. MIF combo of Seth Heck and John Holland only gets better as the season goes along.

The sore spot tonight was hitting. The answer is not bunting with no outs then leaving the runner stranded at 2B. We did hit several hard hit balls. No HRs.

I do think a change of scenery is good. Our first road game is a series at Kentucky. A hitters ballpark too. We have got to start pounding the ball.

Injured players Gavin Collins and Michael Smith didn't play tonight. Got to have them back soon.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

1st SEC series thoughts - Alabama

That wasn't pretty. We are so used to better bullpen pitching. Hitting is not that good either. Coaches certainly play a role in both. Everyone needs to do some soul searching this week.

Starting Pitching:

All 3: Preston Brown, Austin Sexton and Moonlight Tatum did a fantastic job. All of them lasted past the 5th inning and were ahead or in the game when they left. Sexton had a complete game win. Tatum may have to be moved back to the bullpen. He is so effective in that role. If Lucas Laster or Jesse McCord can pitch on Sunday, move Tatum to closer.

Bullpen:

Ross Mitchell has done so much for our program on and off the field. But he is mired in the losses that we had. Maybe he has been figured out. Like the saying goes ,"all hands on deck". All pitchers besides the weekend starters are now in line for the bullpen. Whoever is effective will pitch, I think. Cole Gordon and Paul Young come to my mind. Young by what Cohen said a few weeks ago should be healthy and ready to contribute now, why he didn't pitch versus Bama, I don't know. Gordon did very well pitching in preseason scrimmages but has yet to see the field. Dakota Hudson definitely need to pitch a lot more, got to get him going.

Offense:

I just don't get the bunting. When the bases are loaded, there is no bunting. This must be a coaching philosophy that has to stop. We need to swing away and score multiple runs. A leadoff double, then the next guy who is 2-2 on the day, tries to bunt but strikes out. He needs to swing away. The momentum is killed when you bunt, I think. But the great news is we find a way to get runners on base. The hits will come for this club.

Intangibles:

The players have said what great chemistry they have together, well it will come in handy in times like this. Their attitude seems to be fine.

What's next:

Eastern Illinois then at Kentucky. Beat EI like a drum then head to hitter friendly Kentucky. Our first road games this weekend. It will be good to get away. Road trips help relax a team.

Line up:

We have got to get Gavin Collins back, Humphreys should never be taken out of batting order, Michael Smith must play a lot more he is good.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Passionate fans

We lost 3 games in one week and we as fans go off. We are now 14-3 and still ranked in all 6 polls. We are passionate about our team, our school. We want to win so bad. Don't you love it.

Fear not. Failure is learning. We learned something about our team. The players did as well. They will work just as hard now. The coaches also.

The SEC slate is about to start. First up is Alabama at home. The road to Hoover starts next Friday night. It will be 30 games of war. I am still very hopeful we can have a great year.

These players deserve our support. They want to win just as bad as we do.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dandy Dozen 2015: Mississippi's best

The Clarion Ledger compiled their top 12 players in the state. Ms State signed 8 of those players.

Austin Riley---Desoto Central HS
Jake Mangum---Jackson Prep
Noah Hughes---Jackson Prep
Konnor Pilkington---East Central HS
Delvin Zinn---Pontotoc HS
Keegan James---Desoto Central HS
Brant Blaylock---Desoto Central HS
Luke Alexander---Belmont HS

These guys all represent themselves well. Watch for game is DeSoto is hosting Prep in April. Should be good.

Great job by our coaches to conquer the state!