That the pitching was behind the hitting is often not the case in fall ball, but this year was different for Ole Miss. The Rebels had lost most of their top pitchers from the successful 2005 campaign. With so many new faces on the mound, it took time for them to get used to things at this level.
That was basically the assessment of two of the Rebels' new pitchers - freshman RHP Cody Satterwhite and freshman RHP Lance Lynn.
"It went by fast," said Satterwhite of his first college fall baseball practice. "First of all I had to get adjusted to the type of hitting at this level. By then I felt like I was throwing it pretty good."
Satterwhite indeed threw it better and better. He threw it hard as well. But that was no surprise. He came here with as hard a fast ball as had been seen in these parts in quite some time. He was regularly clocked on the gun in the low to mid 90s and was at 96 on a few occasions.
Satterwhite said it was good to see that the pitching staff progressed as the fall went along.
"We've got a bunch of new pitchers," he said. "It took a while for everybody to get adjusted to the hitters. You just continue to adjust and hit your spots, and then you feel more comfortable. It just takes time to get used to going against the hitters we have."
Satterwhite finished the fall with a 4.50 ERA in 12 innings allowing 16 hits in 44 at-bats with eight strikeouts and five walks. He said he felt he got better as a pitcher this fall.
"I learned to throw the ball lower instead of just throwing it by people," he said. "I worked at hitting spots and worked on different pitches. I worked at setting up hitters more, and I worked on a changeup this fall. It's coming around. I had a fast ball and a slider when I got here. I didn't have a changeup, so I worked on that a lot."
The 6-foot-4, 195-pound Satterwhite says he believes fall ball was positive for all the newcomers.
"The fall helped us a lot with our confidence and getting everybody adjusted to things," he said. "It's been fun and interesting having a bunch of new guys. We're all out there throwing and trying to prove ourselves. That makes it exciting."
Lynn's assessment was much the same as Satterwhite's. The big 6-5, 270-pounder says the fall was especially good for him since he had a long way to go to catch up, especially physically and condition-wise.
"It went by real quick," said Lynn, who spent much of August and September getting in better physical shape. "It's gone well and I've gotten better. My velocity started to pick up as the fall went on. I'm getting used to the workouts. It was a good fall for me."
Lynn finished the fall with a 7.84 ERA in 10 and a third innings. He allowed 10 hits in 40 at-bats with 10 strikeouts and five walks.
"It was a real challenge," Lynn said of the Rebel lineup he faced. "Throwing to guys like the hitters we have on this team, it's a real jump from high school pitching. But it was good for me. It challenged me more and made me work hard to get better with all my pitches."
Lynn said, as did Satterwhite, that the whole pitching staff picked it up as the fall went along.
"We had a lot of new guys, and you could tell later in the fall that everyone was getting in their comfort zone," he said. "Everybody began to feel they belong here. Everybody started throwing well."
For Lynn, getting himself more physically fit was a goal for his fall.
"I've lost a lot of fat and only dropped just a little weight," he said. "But I've just gotten more toned up and in much better shape since I've been here. And I feel a lot better."
Lynn said he too is working on developing another pitch.
"I worked on my splitty (split-finger fast ball) this fall so I have three pitches now," he said. "Toward the end of fall I was able to use that. I have three pitches I can go to now – fast ball, curve ball, and splitty. Now I want to work on the changeup so I can have four pitches to use."
Lynn said he knew he wasn't quite ready to face the challenges of college baseball when he got here in August. So he went right to work on doing just that.
"Getting in shape and throwing the ball well were important to me for the fall," he said. "I threw the ball better at the end of fall which was good. I can't wait to see how I do this winter working out. I'm ready to get back out there on the mound and see what I can do being in the best shape of my life."
Satterwhite, Lynn look back at their falls
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