If Ranaudo was great in his comeback yesterday, Ross was excellent. After a slightly shaky start that saw him give up the lead on a 2-run homer in the 2nd, Ross locked it down and retired 14 straight batters, lasting into the 9th. After mishandling a weird bunt, Ross was pulled. Facing the meat of the Vandy order and over 110 pitches on the night already, CPM was certainly gonna pull him at the 1st sign of trouble. His final line was 4H,4ER(one after he was pulled) and 7K. Shame that he couldn't get the complete game, but maybe he'll get another chance this year if he keeps performing at that high level. Ott had been warming since the 8th and came in with a four run lead and a man on 1st. after getting 2 outs with pop ups, he gave up two RBI singles in a row before striking out the last Vandy batter for the 7-5 win. During the game, my own nerves about Ott got the better of me and I could barley watch as another epic collapse seemed inevitable. Looking back at the final inning however, and I may just have been exaggerating. Sure it wasn't spectacular, but facing another bad outing, Ott locked it down on that last batter, showing flashes of his early season brilliance. Hope springs eternal that he can build off of this, because he will be needed as the post season goes on.
Hitting was excellent again, and this time we know we got Vandy's best. 7 runs on 15 hits with another homer for Gibbs. Katz cooled off completely and was pulled for Dishon late. Not sure if CPM is hinting at further changes, but I hope he gets another shot. Baserunning was very aggressive, in fact too aggressive at times, getting caught out at least twice on some bad decisions. However, given the choice between malaise and over-aggressive, I say yes, lets try to run through that brick wall.
So now the fellas have a day off to enjoy all the wonderful sights and attractions of the greater Birmingham metroplex....Yeah, i'd spend the day in the hotel too. Next game is Saturday morning at 9:30, opponent to be determined. In postgame on the radio it seems like Bourgeois will get the start. We are only one win away from getting a chance to defend our SEC tourney title for the 2nd straight year. Hoover has never been the focus of LSU baseball, and I'm not sure if this is something Bertman ever accomplished. Further research is warranted...
HT to Anchor of Gold, who runs a pretty tight ship of a gamethread themselves