Glorious Conclusion

Mike Bianco didn't hesitate to say what he thought of Scott Weathersby moments after the Rebel reliever closed out the Oxford Regional with a more than sensational performance from the bullpen. And it didn't have anything to do with baseball.

"He's one of those kids you hope your kid grows up to be like," said Bianco, the veteran head coach, and along with his wife, Camie, the father of five children.

Weathersby is indeed that type guy. That he was the one to finish up the game and be there as thousands of adoring fans and loyal teammates celebrated with him as Trevor Mitsui swung his bat mightily but missed is what should have indeed happened.

Because for Weathersby, one of those you see each year on championship teams who preseason might not be expected to contribute heavily, it's more than about baseball, beginning with who gets the glory.

The first question came from the back of the media room, a TV reporter with a quick one.

"Scott, how did you do that?" he asked.

"Do what?" Weathersby asked, not because he didn't know what he had just done but because he didn't hear the question clearly.

Laughter from those gathered. The question again.

"How'd you do that?"

"The Lord. It wasn't my strength. It was His," said the fourth-year junior from Oak Grove High School in south Mississippi, just outside Hattiesburg.

For Weathersby, it all starts right there.

When Bianco left him on the mound in the tenth inning, his head coach knew what he was capable of. So did Weathersby.

When Weathersby got the final out of the fifth inning, his first batter to face, there were two Huskies aboard and a run was already in.

After he recorded the out, a groundout to second by Branden Berry, he came off the mound, his jaw clenched, his team in better shape that it was moments prior.

But before that, before Weathersby ever throws a pitch in a game, he takes his cap off and bows his head.

It all starts right there.

Only then did he go to work to help lift his team to a Super Regional.

"Scott squelched a rally they had going," Bianco said. "Then he sat for an hour and a half and then came back to finish the game."

The rain delay of almost two hours came in the seventh inning. There is always a question mark whether a pitcher can return after a long delay like that.

"It wasn't that bad," Weathersby said, something you knew he would likely say with his positive approach to everything.

Ole Miss wanted, Ole Miss needed, for Scott Weathersby to come back in the game.

"Our trainer, Josh Porter, did an awesome job. He had a heat pad on me. He was with me the whole time, stretching me, talking me through it. It just really wasn't that bad."

"I thought if anybody could do it, certainly Scott could do it," Bianco said. "He'd only thrown ten pitches, and he wasn't in the bullpen very long before he came into the game. He pitched like he has the whole year."

Weathersby finally admitted that some five innings into it, near the end, it got a little tough.

"I fatigued a little bit. The last inning I caught a cramp in my calf," he said. "We have a running joke on the team. Last year when we played Vanderbilt, I had to get water in the middle of an inning. So I had to do it again, and (his teammates) were laughing at me and joking with me again. I fatigued a bit but I tried to push through it and block it out."

Weathersby's final line was 5.1 innings, no runs, two hits, six strikeouts, and two walks.

It was a smiliar finish that teammate Aaron Greenwood had against Washington in a 2-1 Ole Miss win on Sunday. A Mississippi kid who lifted his team to the finish line and wanted to do so at Ole Miss.

It has sometimes been a long and winding road to get where Weathersby is today. Times weren't always easy. But he worked to continue to get better and never lost that faith.

"I don't know if I thought I would (ever be in the position of closing out a Regional championship)," he said after the 3-2 victory over the Huskies. "But I'd always dreamt of it."

And doing so at Ole Miss.

"I was a little kid coming to these games. I came to the '09 Regional and I saw these guys play. It was always a dream of mine to play here. To get the last out to win a Regional is more than I could ask for."

Bianco said the reasons Weathersby is successful are many.

"He's a good kid. And good things happen to good people," Bianco said. "He's a great teammate. When he goes in the game, there's not one guy on the bench that's not hoping he'll have success. And that helps you a lot when you're out there.

"When people are pulling for you, when your teammates are pulling for you, when the fans are pulling for you..."

That's Scott Weathersby.

"That was a lot of fun, something I'll remember for the rest of my life," Weathersby said.

So will a whole lot of other people.

OM Spirit Top Stories