They practice bunting every BP. They have a pitching machine behind the batting cage, aimed at the screen. After a round of BP, every hitter practices bunts. Not just one, but a handful. Now, one of the things that I see is that they don’t square around like in old school bunt drills. They keep their feet in the same spot, and pivot their hips to square. Van Horn does this because it makes it easy for the slug bunt to be used. Some probably don’t like this, but I see other teams do the same thing. It’s just an evolution of the bunt game.
What I’ll say about bunting and this team (and last year’s team) is that they weren’t great at it. Mostly, they didn’t bunt. And, when you get to Omaha, maybe it’s a thing that’s needed a little more because you don’t hit as many out there. Just a bigger park than Baum. That’s probably the case for most teams except West Coast where the marine layer works against them as far as long ball. They get good at bunting.
They won a lot of games the last two years playing a certain way. And, they almost won it all last year playing that way. So I don’t get caught up in questioning Van Horn much on decision not to bunt so much. Hard to change gears at the end.
It was clear that he decided that he was going to let Ezell hit, probably his most consistent hitter in the clutch this season. That’s a guy who has played college baseball for five seasons, the oldest on the team. Van Horn decided to trust him to hit away. I probably would have done the same thing.
Finally, it’s OK to question the coach. Van Horn doesn’t mind and I don’t. It’s just part of baseball.
I don’t mind questioning a coach, but so often we don’t see questions. We see declarations he was wrong.
I for one don’t think DVH knows much about baseball. If he did, he’d have won it all last year & this year. Any coach who can only get to the CWS back to back once & 8 times out of what, 20 years coaching D1? Why he didn’t even make the NCAA tournament once in his 17 seasons here. And he only had one national championship when he coached at the D2 level.
Just to compare, I have never failed to take a team I coached to the CWS. I bet no other poster on this board has failed in that regard, either. That’s why we know so much more than he does. :lol:
I certainly agree that we wouldn’t have much of a forum here if we could not disagree (reasonably) with the coaches and their decisions - at least sometimes. That’s one of the fundamental reasons to have such boards - to discuss/debate various approaches or options to the games. That’s what differentiates this from just reading an article.
But unless an obvious and grievous strategic error is made (and those have happened on occasion in all sports, over the years), I really don’t like it when someone posts that “Approach X (one we did not take)” is the “only” way to go, implying that the coach screwed up. Almost always, that take is incorrect. It may be that the approach being advocated is a legitimate option that could have been (and probably was) considered; but there almost always is another option (or more) that are also viable.
The reality is that we see these posts after we LOSE a game. We’re all upset about that, and we know at that point that whatever strategy was selected did NOT work.
But that doesn’t mean it was wrong.
The nature of sports is that any strategy taken, no matter how sound, can fail. When it does and it ends up costing our team the game, it can be very frustrating. We just have to live with it and hope for a better outcome the next time - not criticize a coach for a sound selection just because the execution did not work in a given situation.
Bottom line is - DVH was questioned about it, gave a solid baseball answer why he didn’t bunt that made perfect sense. Did his decision work out, no.
We don’t know what would have happened trying to bunt with infield in tight.
Bunting doesn’t always work out for the best either.