Game 1: #3 Western Kentucky (39-18) vs. #2 Missouri (34-25), 3PM CST
Game 2: #4 Monmouth (32-23) vs. #1 Mississippi (40-17)*, 7 PM CST.
■ Reminder: There is no cable or broadcast TV for this Tournament. There is online streaming video at Ole Miss RebelVision. And you can listen to Tex and Hudson call the game, as usual, at KTGR.
■ The Clarion Ledger covers its college baseball team better than any other newspaper I've seen. Including today's The Starting Nine:
• WKU coach Chris Finwood on Jamieson’s decision [to hold back Gibson]: “It they want to save him, they can save him.”So what do we have to do to get 1,000 rowdy students to show up regularly at Taylor Stadium?
• The Rebels stumbled with two losses in the Southeastern Conference Tournament, but can they turn it around in front of a partisan crowd that figures to push 10,000?
• Beyond the right-field fence will be more than a thousand rowdy Ole Miss students who have honed their heckling skills for more than three months. They should be in postseason form. Though Western Kentucky and Missouri have played in some solid atmospheres, Monmouth, which averages about 200 per home game, hasn’t seen anything like this.
■ Speaking of the Rebel fans, Red Cup Rebellion has some pointers for the Ole Miss fans:
• First, share the love. The single greatest thing about the "best college baseball atmosphere in America" is the camaraderie among all in attendance. To folks in the grandstand, don’t hesitate to talk baseball with those around you. In direct contrast with Rebel football and basketball fans, Rebel baseball fans generally know what they’re talking about and I’ve had many a great conversation in the stands of Swayze■ Tepesch to start for Missouri (Columbia Tribune)
• Second, don’t botch the cheers. It’s "throw it in the dirt." It’s not "throw her at the dirt," "throw ‘em on the dirt," or "bean the batter!" Chip Clinton didn’t spend years atop the stands at Swayze making that cheer the phenomenon it has become just so you can screw it up all willy-nilly like.
Jamieson announced that sophomore right-hander Nick Tepesch would start today’s regional opener at 3 p.m. against Western Kentucky on Swayze Field. That leaves Kyle Gibson available for an expected start tomorrow against the top-seeded Rebels.■ Mizzou leadoff man siezes opportunity (Stltoday.com)
Tepesch “beat Oklahoma in the conference tournament. He pitched very well,” Jamieson said at yesterday’s press conference. “Hopefully, we’ll win the ballgame and come back with Kyle on Saturday.”
At the Big 12 Tournament last week, Tepesch allowed just two earned runs on eight hits while striking out six in seven innings against the Sooners, who are the No. 7 national seed.
With crowds of 10,000 expected to attend, Jamieson felt Gibson, a semifinalist for
the Golden Spikes award, was best suited to deal with the atmosphere.
It started with his torrid hitting over three straight weekends against Kansas State, Texas Tech and Nebraska in mid-April and early May. In nine games, he hit a blistering .419 with three doubles and a home run while scoring 11 times.
The Kansas City native also drew eight walks and got hit by three pitches, helping him reach base better than 50 percent of the time. Most importantly, the Tigers went 8-1 to jump from eighth to fourth in the Big 12 and get back into NCAA contention.
"I think I was just sticking with that leadoff approach," Holt said. "I was hitting pitches, I was getting in deeper counts, maybe foul a couple off and hopefully making them where they just throw it down the middle."