something to keep an eye on for sure I personally love that approach. We both are very good FB hitting teams but the big difference is a Lot of their guys swing at the 1st pitch where most of ours will take it…We are going to have to be careful with them especially big Dillard who they have moved to leadoff where he led off the game last weekend for a HR and if you remember he jumped Cronin’s 1st pitch FB and lined it to left to tie up our game 2 in Hoover…I would hope Campbell would start him off with a nasty CB on the outside corner.
I don’t know enough to have an informed opinion… but I know what I like to see and what I don’t.
Taking 98% of the first pitches irritates me to death. Automatically taking the pitch when you get to 3-0 does too. I know there are situations where it is better to do this. But it seems like the scouting report on us is to throw it straight down the middle at about 80 and just be sure it’s a strike because we will watch it go by.
I know, I know. Statistics, tendencies, blah blah. It still irritates me.
They have taken first pitch strikes a lot against Arkansas. What you see from Ole Miss is that they hunt the fast ball. I think this Arkansas pitching staff has been different under both Wes Johnson and Matt Hobbs in that they pitch off the breaking ball. Dave Jorn’s staffs pitched off the fast ball. Pitching more with the breaker (if it’s quality) neutralizes a team that swings early. I think if you look back at what Ole Miss has done this year against Arkansas in the five games is take the first pitch – because it’s mostly been a breaker or a change-up. The nature of college baseball has changed dramatically over the last five years. The breaking pitch has dominated. Yes, there are a lot of 95 mph guys, but most all of them also have a second or third pitch and sometimes four like Isaiah Campbell. Isaiah will use his fast ball, but it’s not his primary pitch. He’s a breaking ball and change-up guy and that’s why he’s been successful.
Approach is what separates the SEC from most other leagues around the country. The pitching is good, so the hitters must be disciplined. And, you see the good pitching staffs in the SEC armed with great breaking pitches. Arkansas is front and center there. Isaiah Campbell, Patrick Wicklander, Connor Noland and Kevin Kopps are the pitchers on this staff who get the bulk of the innings. They all have great breaking pitches. Not good, but great.
Exactly Clay. Your best bet is not throwing a first-pitch fastball because they are going to be all over it. It drives me crazy if we take the first pitch most of the time I’ve even seen Martin take right down the middle fast balls.