BLOG: Opening Day 2012 is finally here. It is a b-e-a-utiful day in Ft. Worth, Texas for No. 22 Ole Miss’ season opener at No. 10 TCU.
The Horned Frogs call Lupton Stadium home. The fence’s dimensions are 330-feet down the lines, 400 to center, 380 to left-center and 375 to right-center.
While today’s game looked to be in jeopardy at one point because of rain, it is currently a gorgeous day with a sunny sky. It’s about 55 degrees. Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start, but could be moved depending on the weather.
ABOUT THE HORNED FROGS: TCU enters the season ranked No. 10 (collegiate baseball), No. 11 (USA Today), No. 13 (NCBWA), No. 15 (Baseball America)… Junior catcher Josh Elander has been tabbed a pre-season All-American by multiple publications. As a sophomore, Elander hit .333 with five home runs and 38 RBIs… TCU was picked to win its seventh consecutive Mountain West title by the league’s coaches… TCU is 6-2 (6-1) in season-openers under head coach Jim Schlossnagle… The Horned Frogs return 13 letterwinners from a year ago. They also have 16 newcomers… Senior outfielder Jason Coats was drafted in the 12th round of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Baltimore Orioles but opted to return to TCU. As a junior, Coats hit .325 with eight home runs and 56 RBIs. Coats is 56 games away from being TCU’s all-time leader in games played. He is also four doubles away from holding TCU’s top spot. He’s also 59 hits away from becoming the second player in school history with 300 hits… Horned Frogs who were named pre-season All-MWC were: Elander, Coats, 3B Jantzen Witte, OF Brance Rivera and RHP Andrew Mitchell… TCU has won 12 straight series dating back to a 2-1 series loss to Cal State-Fullerton Feb. 25-27, 2011…
THE GRIND: Here is TCU’s “motivational video” for 2012. Check it out, it’s pretty cool.
ABOUT OLE MISS: The Rebs were picked to finish fourth in the SEC West (and eighth overall) by the league’s coaches… The Rebels return 16 letterwinners from a squad that went 30-25 a year ago… Ole Miss saw its streak of nine-straight NCAA Tournament appearances snapped last year… The Rebs are 10-1 in season-openers under head coach Mike Bianco…
ABOUT THE YOUNG STARTERS: TCU is scheduled to start Mitchell tonight, sophomore RHP Stefan Crichton on Saturday and freshman LHP Brandon Finnegan on Sunday. Mitchell (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) was 6-1 as a freshman with a 2.84 ERA. In 76 innings (22 appearances, 10 starts), the right-hander struck out 73 and walked 31. Mitchell earned a spot on the 2011 Collegiate National Team and was named to the 2011 Louisivlle Slugger Freshman All-American team… Crichton (6-3, 185) was 6-3 with a 1.98 ERA last season. The Katy, Texas native also struck out 42 and walked 10 in 50 innings of work and earned five saves. He was also named to the 2011 All-Mountain West second team and also earned a spot on the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American team… Finnegan (5-11, 184) rounds out TCU’s projected rotation. Following his senior season at Southwest High in Fort Worth, Finnegan was a selected by the Texas Rangers in the 45th round of the 2011 draft.
TALKIN’ HEADS: As most of y’all probably know by now John Davis and myself have a show entitled “Sideline View” on RebelSportsRadio.com twice a week (Wednesdays & Fridays at 1 p.m. CT) where we discuss everything from Ole Miss and high school athletics to pop culture topics. HERE is a link to today’s show, where JD and myself discuss Ole Miss baseball, Ole Miss men’s hoops and the drama from the Vanderbilt loss, the LHS girls hoops team earning a 1-point win in the Class 4A North Half tournament. JD also talked to OHS girls hoops coach Shayne Linzy about their run through the Class 5A tournament. As if that wasn’t enough, Chase Parham (RebelGrove.com), Jeff Roberson (OMSpirit.com) and myself debuted “Pop Time,” a show ALL about #RebsBSB, this week. HERE‘s the link to check that out.
WHO DID WHAT UP UNTIL NOW? Want to get caught up on who is playing where and how they’ve done during the preseason? Click HERE to checkout the Oxford EAGLE’s position previews, intrasquad results and more. Pretty much anything related to Ole miss baseball can be seen at that link so check it out. You can also follow me on Twitter for MORE updates.
——— STARTING LINEUP ———
NO. 22 OLE MISS REBELS (0-0 overall)
LF Tanner Mathis (bats L, throws left)
CF Auston Bousfield (R/R)
2B Alex Yarbrough (B/R)
DH Matt Snyder (L/R)
C Will Allen (R/R)
3B Andrew Mistone (R/R)
1B Preston Overbey (R/R)
SS Blake Newalu (R/R)
RF Will Jamison (L/L)
RHP Bobby Wahl (o-0, 0.00 ERA)
NO. 15 TEXAS CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY HORNED FROGS (0-0 overall)
RF Brance Rivera (R/R)
CF Kyle Von Tungelin (R/R)
LF Jason Coats (R/R)
C Josh Elander (R/R)
DH Zac Jordan (R/R)
2B Brett Johnson (L/R)
1B Kevin Cron (R/R)
3B Davy Wright (R/R)
SS Keaton Jones (R/R)
RHP Andrew Mitchell (0-0, 0.00)
——— SCORING SUMMARY ———
OLE MISS 1, TCU 0 (T3): After loading the bases on three straight singles, Tanner Mathis hit a bloop that fell in for a hit. The throw nailed Preston Overbey, who tagged up at third thinking the ball would be caught, but Auston Bousfield‘s groundout in the next at-bat scored Blake Newalu.
Ole Miss 1, TCU 2 (B3): TCU responded in the bottom of the frame. After Ole Miss starter Bobby Wahl walked and hit the first two batters, Kyle Von Tungelin hit Davy Wright home to tie the game and Jason Coats‘ sacrifice fly scored Keaton Jones to put the Horned Frogs ahead.
OLE MISS 2, TCU 2 (T4): With one out, Will Allen singled and then advanced to second when third baseman Andrew Mistone was plunked. Overbey then grounded out, but 6-foot-5 TCU first baseman Kevin Cron bobbled a low throw and Allen beat the throw home.
OLE MISS 4, TCU 2 (T5): Alex Yarbrough, an Allen, Texas native, showed off in front of the “home town” fans by swatting an offering from Andrew Mitchell over the right field wall. The homer scored Will Jamison. The freshman RF led off the inning with a bloop single to right.
OLE MISS 6, TCU 2 (T7): With relief pitcher Nick Frey pitching for TCU, the Rebels added two more runs on singles by Yarbrough and Matt Snyder that scored Bousfield and Yarbrough.
Ole Miss 6, TCU 4 (B7): RBI-double by Jones and RBI-single by Coats pulls TCU within two. With a runner on first, freshman right-hander Sam Smith entered the game in place of junior left-hander Dylan Chavez and got Josh Elander to ground out to short to end the frame.
OLE MISS 7, TCU 4 (T8): Mistone led off the inning with a home run over the left field wall.
FINAL SCORE: Ole Miss 7, TCU 4.
FINAL QUOTE: “I’m glad I didn’t know that when I went up there.” — Smith, the Ole Miss freshman right-hander, said, joking about not knowing TCU catcher Elander was an All-American. Leading 6-4 in the seventh, Smith came on in relief of junior left-hander Chavez and got Elander to ground out to shortstop.
BY THE NUMBERS: Bousfield, Mistone, Jamison, Chavez and Smith all made their Ole Miss debut tonight… Alex Yarbrough and Jamison led Ole Miss with two hits. Yarbrough went 2-for-5 with two runs and three RBIs…Mistone went 1-for-2 with a home run, two HBPs, three assists and two putouts… Wahl earned the win, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks in 5.0 innings. He also struck out two and hit two batters…Brett Huber earned the save, walking one and hitting another batter in one scoreless inning. He also struck out two batters, including Coats to end the game.
Click HERE for the game’s final box.
First pitch on Saturday is scheduled (weather permitting…) for 2 p.m. CT. (February 17, 2012)