Video here from press day at the College Station Regional.
Frankly, when you get here, a lot of the answers begin to sound the same. So do the questions. That’s why Alex Yarbrough – who was named first-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball on Thursday – and his coach, Mike Bianco, shared a knowing glance and a quiet laugh when I asked about the offense.
To quote Bianco and others – “It is what it is.” The Rebels haven’t played since the SEC tournament, a time when they won the game against Arkansas that may in fact have put them in the NCAAs, based on what we heard from the selection committee Monday, that Ole Miss was among the last five in.
The questions and answers are a little different for media who haven’t seen the Rebels this season, just as some of the TCU and Texas A&M “news” we were getting is pretty dated for other folks.
For Ole Miss the question is can the Rebels scratch out a few runs? They weren’t able to score on TCU’s Preston Morrison when they faced him in relief for 3.1 innings in the second game of the year. They’ll face him again today.
Clearly Ole Miss ace Bobby Wahl has lacked run support of late, but crunching numbers just a few minutes ago, The Rebels have scored just seven runs and been shut out three times in Wahl’s last five starts. That’s not very fair to Wahl, who if you asked him that would respond with some variation of “That’s Baseball,” but from the Ole Miss perspective, it’s not making very good use of your No. 1 starter.
Since questions and answers are starting to sound the same, here’s a little bit of repetitive analysis: The Rebels will go as far as their pitching will take them in this regional. That could in fact be across the finish line as the last team standing if things play out right, if there’s success in the first two days and if R.J. Hively can be saved for a Game 3 starter. That scenario – really the only scenario in which the Rebel might win this regional – demands moderate success from the offense which scored only four runs in three games in the SEC tournament.
In other news, the weather has turned out to be pretty good here, kind of what I’m accustomed to in Texas – hot and bright.
We’ve overcome a bit of hotel adversity, but the good folks at the Fairfield Inn were able to move us to another room. We’ll see if that corrects the problem. I am optimistic.
We are fortunate that other rooms were available, which brings us to this College Station Regional point: It doesn’t appear to be a huge lift for the local economy, at least not today.
The TCU folks will likely come and go tomorrow. I don’t anticipate a huge following for Dayton. Haven’t seen many Ole Miss folks yet, but I also haven’t left the stadium. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.
I do know that the very pleasant young lady at McDonald’s across the street from the stadium said she was not going to watch the Rebels’ play tomorrow. She didn’t say anything about the Aggies either. They take on Dayton at 6:35.