OMAHA--The Virginia-Mississippi game was suspended by nasty weather in the second inning Friday night, leaving the coaches with some interesting choices to make on the mound. Neither team is going to its ace when play resumes today, though Nathan Kirby and Chris Ellis both have five days of rest now. The Cavaliers will send Josh Sborz back to the mound after he threw seven pitches in a 1-2-3 first inning yesterday. Ole Miss will make a pitching change, replacing Jeremy Massie with righthander Scott Weathersby.
I picked the Rebels yesterday partly because they had momentum, and as Augie Garrido said Friday, momentum seems to matter more the bigger the games are. But the weather suspension changes the dynamics a bit. Weathersby has been outstanding down the stretch, but the best way to attack Virginia is with a lefthander. The good news is the suspension gives Mississippi's key relievers a day to rest, and I expect lefthander Wyatt Short will be a key to this game for the Rebels. I find myself three games behind John Manuel in the picks competition, and time is running out, so I will stick with Ole Miss today and hope to pick up a game.
Texas looked a lot better than Vanderbilt yesterday, but the Commodores are a different team with Carson Fulmer on the mound, as we expect he will be tonight. His confidence is contagious, and his stuff is electric. As well as the Longhorns have been playing lately, and as good as Parker French is, I still think Fulmer is the difference maker. I'll take Vanderbilt tonight.
The forecast calls for more storms this evening; here’s hoping we can avoid another suspension or postponement tonight.
John Manuel (1-0 yesterday; 10-1 overall): Virginia, Vanderbilt
Aaron Fitt (0-1 yesterday; 7-4 overall): Mississippi, Vanderbilt
Jim Shonerd (1-0 yesterday; 6-5 overall): Virginia, Texas