Who threw well today?

How did our pitching look?

I wasn’t there, but Zay went four perfect before he ran into trouble in the fifth, and Noland didn’t give up an earned run. I’m sure EIU doesn’t have SEC caliber bats but they still have scholarship athletes. You’re not going to let your guys throw too many pitches in mid-February anyway.

Noland had 7 K’s and allowed 1 BB in 4.2 innings. That’s a darned good stat.

Noland did exactly what he has done the last three Saturdays, which is to strike out a lot of hitters and not walk people.

Campbell looked really good the first four innings. I think the long time between innings probably affected him in the fifth, but it raises the question of whether he has really put last season’s struggles behind him. It played out a lot like some games last year.

Ramage had some command issues early, but bounced back and got a lot of outs. I think that middle relief role is good for him.

Vermillion did a good job the inning that he pitched. I think there is a lot of power in that arm.

Denton pitches to contact and you saw that in both games. When you do that, a ball is going to find a hole sometimes, but he does a good job of getting outs.

The thing I continue to see with Campbell is the difference in his command between the windup and stretch. He pitched from windup until fifth and then his pitches were elevated from stretch. I don’t know if it’s mental or mechanical but there is a difference.

Of course, he was perfect in first four. That’s fun to watch. Maybe it was just long time in dugout in 8-run inning.

Connor Noland showed three quality pitches. That’s starter stuff. Love it.

Cody Scroggins left a few pitches up. He did express concern about some stiffness. Then said he was fine and wanted to pitch another inning. Van Horn pulled him saying later “when you say something is bothering you, you can’t take it back.”

This was not a big, physical EIU team. Looked like bunch of singles hitters to me.

Connor’s stats are very misleading, errors and his own bobble which I believe was scored a hit cost him about 25 pitches and the “W”.

No, he was charged with an error on the bunt, as it should have been.

I talked to an old Arkansas pitcher between games today about Campbell. He said what he sees with Campbell is a big, open delivery out of the windup that is difficult to transfer to the stretch. Campbell told me he thought the issues have been mental, but it is quite possible there is a mechanical element to it, too.

Noland was very impressive! great command and tilt on the breaking pitches love how he buries that 2 seamer in on the hands. I think he has Friday night stuff but we will see.Campbell was great for 4 and back to his old self in the 5th I think he needs to throw his breaking ball more out of the stretch he fell into apattern of FB on 1st pitch and they came out swinging.I thought Vermillion did pretty good but am concerned that he only threw FB and against better teams you keep throwing the same straight pitch they will hit him so hopefully he has an offspeed pitch.Ramage was just Ok not real sharp with his command.

Arkansas batted for a long time in the bottom of the fourth. EIU couldn’t get us out. All that time, Campbell sat, getting colder and colder. He walked around the dugout a bit. Then he got up and played catch with a teammate. It didn’t help him. I knew he was going to lose some of his edge. Campbell looked comfortable and in command through the first four innings and I expect him to continue to look sharp in the future.

Noland’s start was impressive. However, I wasn’t all that impressed with the bullpen. Pitching was my biggest concern going into this year. I was fairly comfortable with the hitters in the lineup. They showed well yesterday. I know DVH has said that the bullpen may be the best he has had. I hope he is proven right. Denton was about the only one I was impressed with yesterday.

Ramage, Scroggins, Vermillion and Denton were the primary bullpen guys who threw yesterday. Burton, in my opinion, isn’t going to be called on a lot.

We still haven’t seen Cronin, Wicklander or Kopps. I think all three might pitch today.

From your write up SAT…

So it’s up to the official scorer in college bases on the W/L…no 5 inning rule like in MLB?

Not exactly. When there is a lower-than-normal pitch count announced ahead of time, the official scorer will typically give the starting pitcher a win even if he pitches fewer than five innings. The difference yesterday was that, in the scorer’s opinion, the game was still in doubt when Noland left. Arkansas was ahead 4-0, but the bases were loaded and the tying run was at the plate. It was the scorer’s discretion whether or not to award him the win. I didn’t necessarily agree with the decision, but I’m not the scorer, and I can respect his justification.

In games when a pitch count is not pre-announced, the starting pitcher must go five innings to earn the win. That’s why Blaine Knight didn’t get a 15th win last year against Kentucky, when he had to leave with two outs in the fourth because of a line drive off his shin.

I was pleased to see the pitching! In the cold weather it’s tough. Noland impressed me. He has poise and stays in control.
Campbell just looks awesome from the windup and what a difference the stretch makes. It has to be mental. He will figure it out. The hogs have plenty of pitching depth. How deep we won’t know for some time but they are fun to watch.

It is my feeling that the official scorer made an error in judgment in not giving Noland the victory. And I told him that.

His reasoning: the lead was not safe. But he couldn’t answer my question about what lead is safe. Noland pitched the best of everyone who threw in the second game yesterday. I’ve watched a lot of early season college baseball with pitch counts. In the first two weeks when a pitch count is clearly in place, that’s the first time I’ve seen a pitcher leave in the fifth with a shutout on the board and the team not give up the lead and he didn’t get the win. Connor’s announced pitch count limit was 70-75 and he was at 73 with the fifth looking to be his longest inning. It was time for him to come out based on the pitch count.

I told the scorer when he made his announcement that I’d never seen that done before. But it’s his call and he has a right to his opinion. And he had his reasons and there is a little bit of merit there. Not a lot. I’ve scored a lot of games, maybe several thousand. I don’t exactly know when I’ve seen a ruling like that which I thought was more wrong. However, there is a lot of wiggle room in that particular way the scorer can interpret that situation. Today, the scorer told me that the same situation might happen again and he calls it the other way. Interesting.

My general rule when there is a pitch count in place is to look back and decide which pitcher in that situation more deserved it. It was clearly Connor Noland. He was not out-pitched by Kole Ramage. Now, Ramage didn’t do poorly.

I couldn’t believe they sent Campbell back out there. When you are worried about a “mental edge” the perfect remedy is a 4-inning performance where you absolutely dominated. And, as a player, you don’t want to be pulled from a no-no but there is no way he was going nine so why fret about it?