Kjerstad, Cole and Shaddy combined to go 0 for 14 . . . and we still dominated the defending National Champions in Omaha to move on to the Championship series. Those guys have been some of our more consistent contributors on offense. Yet, even without anything from them (on offense; obviously, Shaddy and Cole made their presence known on defense!), we were constantly putting pressure on the Gators. It seemed like we had someone in scoring position almost every inning, even if we did only end up with 5 runs.
You know those 3 won’t stay down for long. And that augers very well for the Championship series.
Despite the fact that we’ve pretty well owned Springer his entire career, let’s not forget he’s probably the 2nd best pitcher in the SEC. That Mace kid pitched awfully well, too. We won’t face pitchers like that in the finals. We might face a pitcher who has a great night, but I doubt we’re as likely to see ones as good as we saw last night. (Now I say that having no clue what OSU has.)
I agree with both of you. Big win with so little production (or lack of production) from some of our key hitters, and yet what a marvellously pitched game by Campbell. Would like to see if he could take the confidence he got from it into the next game, but I hope he doesn’t pitch again until next spring in the Hogs’ season opener in defense of a national championship.
If OSU played our schedule they would have 10 or 12 more losses and another half point on their ERA. We had a Top Five team until Gates became the regular on first and Campbell tightened the screws down in his head… now we are the best team in the country. OSU is probably number two so if we play them (and should) it will be fun to watch. I get it, it’s baseball and anything can happen in a short series but we should win. Our pitching is well rested and they have played two more games in the last week and that will be a big plus. Gates in the last month has given us a quality glove on first with power and a good average at the end of a great hitting lineup. As the OP stated we didn’t have several of our best hitters working and still made the Gators roll over like a limp lizard… Singer is very good, but we are much better and the pitching at OSU is not better than Mize and Singer which we have handled several times. Let’s enjoy what this team has done and what it will do.
OSU has one of the best staffs in the country. They are 14th in the country with a 3.37 ERA. Better than anyone in the SEC.
[/quote]Actually, OSU’s staff is #3 in their conference.
A&M’s staff pitched to a 3.38 ERA, the Hogs handled them fairly well. A&M did that against the nation’s #13 schedule, OSU’s SOS is #29. Now, if the argument is whether or not OSU can hit the ball, I’d agree they’re pretty outstanding.
Should be a big game tonight against a better pitcher at MSU.
Very relevant point, Matt. As a counterpoint, it’s a two way street . . . let’s remember how our most highly rated opponents have fared against us the first time they’ve seen OUR offensive line-up, each time with a premier pitcher as their starter.
Of course, we also pounded Hjelle of UK (11 hits, 9 runs, 3 HR) but they weren’t as good as expected - not a Top 20 type club.
That’s an average of about 10 hits, 6 runs and a HR or two for what is considered elite pitching against our offense the first time they pitched against it. Ironically and/or coincidentally, I made a post a couple of weeks ago about six being our “magic number” of runs to score in a game to give us a great chance to win (viewtopic.php?f=7&t=18626&p=132940#p132940).
With Blaine on the mound, I feel good about holding them to 6 or fewer runs. Not “great”, because their offense is explosive. But we’ve faced several other explosive offensive teams (Florida, Ole Miss, Tech) and kept them in reasonable check.