Someone asked for this on the BaylorFans.com site and so I felt compelled in the rainy Houston weather to tell ya a little about the team. Our usual batting order of late has been: CF - Chris Durbin (.335) RF - David Murphy (.420) C - Josh Ford (.316) LF/3B - Michael Griffen (.357) 1B - Mark Saccomanno (.377) DH - Ross Bennett (.360) SS - Trey Webb (.281) 2B - Kyle Reynolds (.295) LF - Kevin Sevigny (.295) 2B/3B - Paul Witt (.253) & DH - Reid Brees (.345) also come in from time to time. ---Kyle has logged a lot of time in the latter part of the year, due to his bat getting hot recently. He has done an excellent job in the field. He is the son of Astros Craig Reynolds. ---Paul Witt has had some trouble this year in several game with E5 errors. Although he usually plays error-proof ball, there were several games in which he made more than one error that could have been a game decider. Because of his E5's and lower BA, he didn't play much in the Hattiesburg regional. Kevin Sevigny took LF for Griffen, and Griffen took 3B for Witt, and Reynolds would cover 2B. This has proven to be a great combo. So look for a change in the bottom of the batting order from the said rotation. Our usual pitching rotation goes something like this: Walker White McCormick/LaMotta Who's hot and who's not??? HOT ---- David Murphy (.420) - With only 5 errors on the season and a great batting average, this guy is a big threat for LSU. He can just plain hit the ball. He has a .626 slugging percentage, and will likely be a first round draft pick. Mark Saccomanno (.377) - Mark has only played about 1/2 the year at first base, but has been unbelievable since. He came in crucial after we got beaten by UT and A&M in a low part of the year and got the team to start playing again. His bat looks better in real life than it does on paper, because for playing less than 1/2 the season, he already has 40 RBI's, 8HR, and 69 hits. Trey Webb (.281) - His batting average is not indicative of this guy's postseason play. Although earlier in the year I would've sworn he was the worse player at the plate, he's now hitting over .425 during the postseason. Although he's made some errors, he's great at stopping almost anything that comes his way...he's a wall most of the time, with a gun of an arm. Kyle Reynolds (.295) - He's only played the last quarter of the season, but this freshman has been pure gold. There's really nothing extraordinary to note, but he's been a clutch hitte and is better than he looks on paper. Kevin Sevigny (.295) - For a guy that has only started 9 games this entire season, this guy is unbelievable. I'll admit I didn't like him at first, but he's been very reliable and even at the 8 or 9 hole in the lineup, has been a clutch hitter. Steven White (4.31 ERA, 8-4) - This is our ace. An 18th round pick for the Brewers last year, he's a great pitcher with a lot of finesse. He has high heat on demand and a nice curve and great slider. He's pitched unbelievably in postseason after a pretty [email protected] good regular season too. Mark McCormick (5.19 ERA, 6-2) - This guy is a true freshman, but man can he pitch. He's famous for his constant 98 mph fastball. He got an offer from the Orioles for 1.3 million and turned it down to come to Baylor!!!? Although he can pitch fast, he has a tendency to get wild when he tries to throw around the plate. If you wanna get this guy out in the early innings, you gotta jump on his fastball and get him to try to throw with finesse. He doesn't have as much of that as a freshman. Zane Carlson (2.61 ERA, 3-4) - This guy is our stud closer and has had an unbelievable year. He's got a little bit of everything and can close 3 games back to back and still be just as effective in each. Ryan LaMotta (3.50 ERA, 7-2) - He didn't start at the beginning of the year, but has been during the postseason. Honestly, this guy doesn't do any one thing exceptionally great but can do everything well. Like most freshman pitchers, I've noticed that he gets psyched out pretty easily if the batters start getting hit after hit on him. His best outing of the year was last weekend against Southern Miss. He pitched 8 innings and only gave up 6 hits. Who's NOT hot? ----------- Chris Durbin (.335) - This guy was hitting well over 400 for 90% of this year but has gone something like 4 of 35 (I think) at the plate in the postseason. Talk about a slump. He's been cold for about 3-4 weeks now at least, but hits the ball very, very hard if he does make contact (.618 slug %). However, he is a wall in the outfield and catches almost anything that comes his way (.994 Fldg %, 1 error in 64 games). Josh Ford (.317) - Josh hit over 400 until the A&M series (about 1/2 way through the year). With his linebacker build, he will crush the ball, but only if you leave it over the plate too long. He's a sucker for the inside curve and will swing at almost anything when he's got 2 strikes. He's got one of the best arms I've seen in college baseball, and got all Big 12 honorable mention at catcher. Michael Griffen (.357) - He hit for the cycle this year and has had 101 hits and 76 RBI's. He played LF for the entire regular season (3 errors) but has played 3B in the post season error-free. He's fast and loves to try the steal. His bat just hasn't been going lately and although he's gotten hits in all of the games in the post season, he's just not his hard hitting self the past 3-4 weeks. Ross Bennett (.360) - This is another guy that was hitting over 400 most of the year, and did well until the Kansas series towards the end of the year. He jammed two of this fingers badly in the first game and didn't make it back into the lineup until regional play. Even now, he hasn't been starting. He's a great player and was hitting very well. I'll say his lack of playing time lately is probably why he has been doing poorly. Sean Walker (4.79 ERA, 8-5) - This guy doesn't suck but just hasn't been pitching like he did earlier in the year. He pitched with a lot of finesse and had a lot of good different pitches earlier in the season but has had trouble controlling the strikes as of late. If he wants to throw strikes, he can, but he usually leaves curves over the plate too long and it has seriously hurt his ERA as of late. In a 3 game series, he is usually our first starter. HOW TO BEAT BAYLOR: Earlier in the season, the team's overall batting average got around .360. We were stricktly a hitting team. We could clobber the ball. It went down for a couple weeks towards the middle of the year and then they started averaging 12 runs a game towards the end of the reg. season against some stiff competition. They hit well until regional time when the bats all but stopped. When our 1,3, & 4 stopped hitting well, our 2,5,6, & 7 really stepped it up which has kept us in games. To beat Baylor, #1) Pitch slowly and throw a lot of random stuff. Our guys love fast paced pitching, and will catch on if you've only got 1 or 2 good pitches. #2) Play defense. The Bears have played well in the field for most of the season but it'd take 2 hands for me to count the number of games we've lost due to simple errors. Don't make the same mistake, and hope that we do. #3) Hit early, and keep hitting. No lead has been safe this year for a team just because they start scoring early. Baylor's hitting has been clutch as of late and if they need 6 runs in an inning, they might be able to get it, even against really good pitching. Against UT this year, they blew a lead and then fought back to push it into extra innings against Huston Street who is unbelievable. Although they ended up losing, it was a close game, and not many have been with Street closing. #4) BULLPEN! Get in it in the first game. Baylor has 5 or 6 really good pitchers, but if you can take out 3 in the first game, you'll do some damage. I'd say the key to the series is game 1. If you rock Walker and then make us put in someone else that we had reserved, you should probably win the series. When Walker pitches well in the first game, we almost always take the series because our Saturday and Sunday pitchers are good. If you wanna throw the game away: ---------------- 1) Pitch the ball fast and down the middle of the plate. We have a good hitting team that has struggled with inside curves and outside sliders as of late. But they are still a very good hitting team and love fastballs. 2) Let us take the first game. Our Saturday (White) and Sunday (LaMotta/McCormick) pitchers are good. You need the first game because it is crucial. If you lose the first one, you can still win the series, it'll just be much tougher. 3) Play shotty defense. Baylor has had some poor defense in a couple of the games this year, even the ones later in the year. If you make the errors, we are good at capitalizing on those. If you don't make errors you'll probably make us do it instead. OVERALL ----------- Baylor got to where it is this year because of hitting, but in the postseason it has made a complete 180 from hitting to pitching that has pulled us out of most the games. I guess that's the best thing to get hot in the post season, I just never expected it. If our pitching holds and our bats come back, you'll have a tough time. If you knock out our bullpen early and keep our hits down I can guarentee a LSU CWS appearance. Good luck this weekend.