HOOVER, Ala. — All-SEC teams were announced earlier today, and relief pitcher Wyatt Short was the Rebels’ lone selection, a second-team choice.
I thought Sikes Orvis’ power numbers might get him on one of the teams. They’re actually a touch better than they were last year when he was first team, and he was a preseason choice this season.
Orivs has had a monster May, and the fact that he wasn’t quite as consistent earlier in the season may have played a part in voting. After batting practice today he talked about that and many other topics — including his passion for the team hotel and the difficulty of hitting long balls at the Hoover Met — in this clip.
Short is a deserving choice. He’s got a 1.49 ERA and 10 saves in 36 1-3 innings. He learned about making the All-SEC team when teammates awakened him on the bus trip over. The first to let him know was sophomore catcher Henri Lartigue. The two were high school teammates at Southaven.
Ole Miss, the 6 seed, takes on Alabama, the 11 seed, tomorrow morning at 9:30. It’s a single-elimination game.
No matter what happens the Rebels aren’t likely to improve much on their NCAA seeding here. My guess is a 15-14 SEC record, a mid-20s RPI and the No. 1 strength of schedule will be enough to keep Ole Miss from getting shipped out West and will have the Rebels somewhere as a No. 2 seed.
I’m thinking they won’t get sent to one of the top eight seed for a regional. That could be the only thing left that a deep SEC tournament run could improve.
A deep run is going to be difficult here because Ole Miss pitching isn’t that deep. Scott Weathersby will start against Alabama. He threw 1 2-3 innings of hitless, scoreless relief of Brady Bramlett in Game 2 of the Alabama series in Oxford, a 4-0 win. That was one of the Rebels’ many doubleheaders. Ole Miss swept on the Saturday but lost Game 3 on Sunday.
One thing that should help the Rebels both here and in the NCAA is the return of left fielder Connor Cloyd. Unless there’s some kind of setback he’ll play. He was the team’s hottest hitter when he strained an oblique in the second game of the Mississippi State series. He still leads the Rebels with a .400 batting average and would be among the SEC leaders if he had enough at-bats to qualify for the conference statistical rankings.
Cloyd talks about coming back from injury here: