Listen, I don’t want to say anything because, frankly, I don’t know how sick the kid is. I’ve had a really bad flu before and could barely get out of bed, let alone try to pitch in some heat down here. But…there are guys who suck it up and play because their team needs them, they like to compete and not let people doswn. This is the SEC tournament, a pretty big stage. Ole Miss is 2-0 and will be 2-1 if they end up losing this game (it’s 7-2 Vandy in the 4th). Winning the tourney would mean an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. They’ll get an at-large bid in all liklihood, but obviously with every win they get here, the better they might do seeding-wise. I think you get the point — this is a pretty big game. And Satterwhite begged out of it.
If this was a one-time thing, I think the reaction would be, “OK, he must really be sick.” But there’s been a pattern with Satterwhite and he doesn’t seem to be the most competitive guy you’ll see. The coaching staff wasn’t upset because he was sick, I’m guessing, but that it was another example of their junior pitcher with a ton of natural talent not stepping up. As one scout I spoke to over the phone about what had happened said, “That sounds about right for him.”
While some of the top draft talent in the SEC tourney here in Birmingham is gone — Gordon Beckham of Georgia, Justin Smoak and Reese Havens of South Carolina — and Pedro Alvarez is still here of course, Ole Miss has been a nice surprise by going 2-0 and playing Vandy this morning at Regions Park.
Lance Lynn, the Friday starter, kicked things off (as I mentioned earlier) with a terrific start. Today, it’s time for the Codys to try and step up. Cody Satterwhite was once thought to be a first-round possibility based on his raw stuff, but he’s had a rough year and been more hittable than he should. He got the start against Vandy and it didn’t begin well as he gave up a leadoff homer to Drew Macias. It got worse as he just got lifted in the second inning with an injury of some sort, leaving with runners on the corners and one out. I’ll have more on that as I find out what the deal is.
In the meantime, 3B Cody Overbeck gave Ole Miss a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning with a two-run homer, his 15th of the year, over the left-field fence. Overbeck’s one of those college hitters who grows on you when you watch him. He doesn’t have overwhelming tools, other than some pretty good power, particularly to the pull side as he showed here today, but he’s the type who comes up with big hits in big situations. He may not be an every-day 3B as a pro, but think Kevin Millar as the best-case scenario. Homering here certainly doesn’t hurt.