A few baseball thoughts as Memphis visits tomorrow at 4 …
Bobby Wahl was not himself Friday afternoon, but Bobby Wahl at half speed was still too much for Rhode Island, which could score but one run against Wahl while he allowed a career-high six walks.
Other clubs will not be cooperative.
There was scoreless relief behind Wahl with Josh Laxer, who pitched three scoreless innings allowing just a hit and a walk to 11 batters faced. Freshman left-hander Jeremy Massie located well and pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up one hit.
Pitching was strong again on Saturday. Mike Mayers was better in his second start but got another no-decision in spite of six innings of two-hit, shutout baseball. He walked three and struck out four.
Matt Denny, Tanner Bailey and Brett Huber were scoreless behind him.
There’s an injury with No. 3 starter Chris Ellis, and the importance of the bullpen depth was magnified on Sunday. Sam Smith went 3.1 to start and gave up two runs. Behind him Aaron Greenwood gave up a run over three innings, and Jeremy Massie, Bailey and Huber were scoreless.
I didn’t make the Sunday game, but I’m told Huber looked as good as he has this year. He faced only three batters and retired one with a strikeout in earning his third save.
THE NOT SO GOOD
The flip side has been offense. There was a lot of optimism for this aspect of the game from inside the program before the season began.
Granted, they’re facing good pitching on the weekends. That’s all part of the plan in getting ready for SEC play, and winning teams are going to have to score against good pitching.
The Rebels scored eight runs over the first three innings against Rhode Island on Friday. In the other 51 innings of weekend baseball they’ve scored 17 runs, less than three runs per nine innings.
Offense has been timely as in Stuart Turner’s grand slam against TCU in Game 3, Austin Knight’s walk-off single Saturday against Rhode Island and other examples. There just hasn’t been offense spread throughout games.
Although it is holding opponents to a .194 batting average, Ole Miss is hitting only a collective .273 right now.