What We Learned- USM special Midweek Edition


First of all, GREAT crowd tonight- I would say it was at least 2/3 maroon, which is always nice to see for baseball.  It’s great to see MSU fans genuinely excited about baseball.  It was just a few short years ago that USM was going through their golden era of baseball- talking smack to MSU fans and having Ron Polk arrested for arguing with an umpire.  Well, we are now going on three years in a row where we have beaten USM, and tonight was the most

impressive.  What happened?  John Cohen decided to make it a priority to recruit Mississippi when he was named the head coach at MSU.  As a result, MSU now has players that would have been overlooked five years ago- such as Demarcus Henderson, Wes Rea, Jacob Lindgren, and Will Cox probably would have been Golden Eagles just a few years ago.  I would have said Hunter Renfroe, but I know he had offers from LSU and Ole Miss and he would have likely ended up at one of those two places.  Imagine what MSU would look like without all of those players?  Yeah- ouch.  Now that USM isn’t getting the lion’s share of the top players- they still are going to get some player’s like Mason Robbins, Conner Barron, and Andrew Pierce that are legit elite talent- they have gone from an Omaha team to a team that looks very average to be quite blunt.

MSU had a rough weekend this past weekend- and even still MSU’s pitching staff was kind of beat up.   They needed someone to step up and give us quality innings.  There is one player on our team that I can think of that can do just that- and that is Luis Pollorena.  The man owns USM.  And sure enough, Pollorena gave MSU five quality innings and because we needed to rest some of our pitchers and MSU had a nine run lead, we overextended him a little bit and he allowed the big sixth inning.  Ross Mitchell came in and did a great job.  I can’t say enough good things about the two of them- and thank goodness Ross didn’t get his head ripped off by that line drive.

Speaking of not being able to say enough good things about someone- Hunter Renfroe.  Two doubles and a home run- impressive.  Even his outs are smoked.

I liked what I saw from the rest of the offense too.  I think we did a great job of getting back to the team that we are and the result was another game where we scored a ton of runs.  I like how we have a little bit of everything- we had some extra base hits and showed some power, and yet we stole a base tried some things on the basepaths, and bunted a little bit.  It’s a really good combination.  I saw guys taking good at bats for the most part, going opposite field, and using the entire field in general.  Renfroe is a good example- opposite field double in his first at bat, then he pulls a double into the gap, and then tries to go up the middle and grounds out, and then finally pulls a ball for a home run.  That’s where the experience that we didn’t have last year is coming into play. Once Wes Rea comes back- which there is a good chance that will happen this weekend- then we will be an even more dangerous lineup.

Adam Frazier also impressed me with his ability to go opposite field and get extra base hits.  He is our igniter on offense.  I thought Sam Frost had a really good game as well at the plate.

Funniest moment of the night- USM pitcher Boomer Scarborough getting beaned by his own catcher.  And then getting taken out of the game. For reference- Boomer was the USM player who stated two years ago after MSU beat USM in Pearl that USM would beat MSU “nine out of ten times”.  MSU then proceeded to play USM in the Atlanta regional and beat them again.

I think CT Bradford is getting close to breaking out of his slump.  He was going opposite field and just getting under the ball a little bit.  His one strike out, he actually had a decent at bat, but on what probably should have been ball four, he left the box too soon and the umpire didn’t like it.  I would not be surprised at all if he has a very good series against LSU.

As we all know, LSU is coming to town this weekend.  We need to try to get 10,000 people there this weekend and make it a hostile atmosphere.  The fans in the Jackson metro area did an awesome job for the USM game- and now all MSU fans need to do an awesome job this weekend.  If you have season tickets and do not use them- give them to someone who will that is a MSU person.  It should be a great series between two top fifteen type baseball teams.

Hail State!