We don't usually keep a clock on post-game speeches. It's done “by feel” as coaches like to say. The feeling was that last night's lasted a bit longer than a Game 1 postgame does.
Two pitchers were outstanding last night, a 5-hit complete game by Vanderbilt's TJ Pecoraro, and a 3-hitter by Bobby Wahl.
The difference was who took advantage of limited opportunities. That was Vanderbilt.
Mike Bianco talked a little to us about his postgame speech.
“The message is you've got to play better in these games. There are game in college baseball now, a lot more than there used to be, more 2-0, 1-0, 3-2, 4-2 games, and if you're going to win those games you can't leave guys at third base. You've got to get the clutch, timely hit, you've got to make plays on defense, or you end up on the wrong end of that.
“If we're going to improve and have success, we have to play better. It isn't like we played terrible, but they played really good. The few opportunities, they only had two innings. The message is you've got to make those plays. When you pick them off, you've got to get it to the third baseman so he can tag him out. You've got to catch the ball, and the guys wasn't going to run, they wouldn't have scored. You've got your 3- and 4-hole hitter. That's in this game, but you never know when you're going to be in this type of game.”
Clearly, Bianco was calling on his best players to step up and produce more during clutch situations, calling on the guys who have done the most to do more.
It's not an unfair challenge.
To whom more is given, more is required, and the leaders are the leaders, because they have shown the ability to make plays.
Here's a look at the Rebels' top every-day hitters, statistically, and what they've done over the last 10 games.
Alex Yarbrough – Hitting .300 with 1 double, 3 RBIs.
Matt Snyder – Hitting .216 with 1 double, 2 home runs, 6 RBIs. Walk-off HR vs. UT.
Tanner Mathis – Hitting .349 with 3 doubles, 5 runs scored.
Will Allen – Hitting .312 with 2 doubles, 4 RBIs.