The SEC baseball tournament begins tomorrow in Hoover, Ala.
There’s one less baseball coach in the league right now since Georgia has parted ways with David Perno, according to reports. Here’s the link. Ole Miss assistant Cliff Godwin is one of many names tossed about Baseball America’s Aaron Fitt as a possible replacement for Perno. So is Mississippi State assistant Butch Thompson. Fitt also suggests that Georgia could throw a lot of money at baseball and hire an established head coach — like Virginia’s Brian O’Connor or Louisville’s Dan McDonnell, the former Mike Bianco assistant.
Bianco and the Rebels take on Kentucky tomorrow at 9:30, the first game of the tournament.
Bianco will name a starting pitcher later today. Kentucky on Sunday announced it would go with senior left-hander Jerad Grundy (6-5, 4.75), who was recently moved down from an SEC starter’s role for the Wildcats.
Grundy was the only UK pitcher to lose against Ole Miss this year, the pitcher of record when the Rebels won 11-5 in the middle game in Oxford. Grundy gave up nine runs and 12 hits in 5.2 innings in that game and in two career starts against is 0-2 with a 13.06 ERA with 15 runs in 10.1 innings.
In other news …
The Ferriss Trophy winner will be announced this morning. Ole Miss has two of the five finalists, pitcher Bobby Wahl and catcher Stuart Turner, neither of which had memorable weekends at LSU in the final regular season series.
Wahl lasted just 2.2 innings and gave up six earned runs in his shorted start of the season. He went into the series leading SEC starters in ERA. Now he’s third at 1.99.
LSU did a good job of pitching around Turner in three games, and his batting average dipped from .389 to .377 heading to Hoover.
Ole Miss closer Brett Huber got the save in Saturday’s win, his 12th of the season, tying his season-high set in 2010. He has 38 career saves, third on the SEC list.
The Rebels’ hottest hitter in Baton Rouge was senior outfielder Tanner Mathis. He struggled most of the regular season but hit .700 in four games over the past weekend. He had four walks and two HBPs for an on-base percentage of .813.
Mathis was the hottest hitter in postseason last year, so maybe he’s warming up again.