John Cohen has a request for every Mississippi State University fan who might see sophomore first baseman Wes Rea around campus in Starkville.♦ Five Fall Thoughts: South Carolina (Perfect Game)
"If you see him with sweet tea, knock it out of his hand," Cohen, MSU's fifth-year head baseball coach joked on Sept. 27 during a preseason media session at Dudy Noble Field. "We've had a lot of conversations about the difference between sweet and unsweet tea for his diet."
Rea's diet, which has started since the end of the 2012 season, has seen instant results as the MSU baseball program enters in its fall season of preseason camp as the power-hitting corner infielder from Gulfport has lost over 20 pounds and is down to 272 pounds when he weighed in days before the first fall scrimmage.
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The hard work has apparently paid off as Rea was named the hitter of the week by his teammates after the first three intra-squad scrimmages of the fall. Rea's power numbers included two doubles and a a crushing home run over the left field wall in first scrimmage. The unofficial honor allows Rea to park his black pickup truck closest to the entrance at Dudy Noble Field.
4. Offense a question mark for Gamecocks -- When the dust settles and the 2013 campaign begins, there's a good chance the Gamecocks will be more than serviceable from an offensive standpoint. But for now, this unit is one with some holes. The Gamecocks finished last season with a .265 batting average, and loses their only hitter -- first baseman Christian Walker -- that finished last season with a batting average over .321...♦ Diamond Rebels start fall with high energy (The DM Online)
An interesting note for the Ole Miss pitching staff is that it features four lefties, all four of whom are newcomers. Denny is the lone freshman, while Austin Blunt, Jeremy Massie and Scott Ashford are all junior college transfers.♦ SEC Fall Check-In: Ole Miss (College Baseball Daily, written by Mizzou's own Brandon Weiss)
In the field, there are some question marks, most notably at catcher, first base and second base, with the departures of Matt Snyder and Alex Yarbrough...
Ole Miss breaks away from the norm in that the Rebels are deep in fall traditions. The first is a Labor Day party at Coach Bianco’s house, which includes a team meal and fun events, such as a largest cannonball-splash contest, corn hole, and what Bianco called “Labor Day Olympics.”
Another tradition is the annual “Pizza Bowl,” a series of games in which team veterans draft teams to compete against one another. The winners then get to eat pizza while the losers get to run.
Finally, the Omaha Challenge takes place right before Thanksgiving break. Players split into groups and compete in a rigorous series of physical challenges, including an obstacle course, tire flipping, swimming, and more.