Bianco said the pitching during fall ball wasn't quite what he thought it would be. But he knows it should be better in the spring. He's seen a lot of it before.
"We know what we have coming back, so I'm not as concerned," he said after the hitting overshadowed the pitching most of the fall. "Late in the fall we pitched better. We had some innings blow up earlier, too many innings where things just got messy, and that includes defensively too. We have to become better and when we walk a guy or make an error, then we have to make a great play or turn a double play. We saw some better things (last) weekend. Still we were sloppy in areas and we have to do better."
Offensively the Rebels were good from day one of fall practice.
"We had a great fall swinging the bats," Bianco said. "I'm really excited about the way we swung. I hate to say that we didn't expect that, but to be perfectly honest we probably didn't expect to swing it as well as we did, certainly not with the power that we showed a lot."
Bianco said there were some players who were consistent at the plate and who had very good falls offensively.
"Cody Overbeck comes to mind, and Logan Power as well," he said. "Logan hit two home runs (last) weekend. I think we hit as many home runs this fall as we've ever hit and with a pitching staff that we return so many guys, which was the high point going in."
Bianco then talked more about the pitching.
"There were some bright spots," he said. "I thought (the last weekend) Lance Lynn pitched well. I thought Brett Bukvich pitched well. I thought Will Kline pitched well but was even better the weekend before. This (past) weekend it didn't come as easy for Will, but he hung in there. He gave up some hits, some hard hit balls, and he was able to make some clutch pitches. That's what you need to do if you want to be really good. You have to make some pitches to get out of it."
While Brett Basham separated himself as the Rebs' No. 1 catcher for the upcoming season, finding the next guy was less easy. Last weekend Alex Kliman, who saw more time at the position the past couple of years than this fall, was behind the plate.
"We put Kliman back there (Sunday), and he did fantastic," Bianco said - Kliman had been in the outfield a lot this fall. "For a guy who really hadn't been back there in a year or so, that was nice to see. We needed that to add some depth at catcher."
C.J. Ketchum, Ryan White, Zach Rutland, Dan Black, Scott Haltom, and Tyler McMullen all also had some playing time at catcher this fall.
Toward the end of the fall, Ketchum even played some in the outfield, while first base candidate Cullan Kight also spent a little time out there.
"We're just trying to find some positions for some people," Bianco said. "That's where we're kinda clustered up. We have a lot of DH possibilities. A lot of guys had good falls, and yet we don't know what positions they're going to play. Can they play the outfield, first base, and so on?"
Bianco admitted that this was probably the case this fall more than usual, with so many players and so many positions and exactly who might be where in the spring.
"Jordan Henry for a true freshman and for a guy who hasn't played a lot of outfield in his life played well offensively and added another dimension as far as speed and really being able to run," he said. "And there were others who were in there as well."
Bianco said just because fall practice is behind them doesn't mean they won't continue to dissect and assess things throughout the squad.
"I think you always evaluate," he said. "We're still looking and searching in some areas. There's no doubt that January's important. There are guys in the past like Alex Presley who might not have had the career he had here if he hadn't had a great January his freshman year. We were going to redshirt him, but he was too good to redshirt. He ended up being a freshman All-American.
"Still you have to be careful and you want to figure it all out and make good decisions. You also have to remember there were only like 35 at-bats for the hitters (in fall intrasquads), so that's not necessarily a great barometer to judge how good or how bad somebody played or how far along or not somebody is. So you have to take a lot of things into consideration.
"There are some guys who had a good statistic fall offensively who I don't necessarily think had a good fall. And vice versa."
That being said, below are the final stats for the four weeks of fall intrasquad games. (Pitchers Cody Satterwhite and Michael Robbins were shut down early in the fall due to arm soreness.)
Button, E. .379 (11x29), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 7 SB
Henry, Jo. .360 (18x50), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 9 SB
Overbeck, C. .354 (17x48), 4 HR, 12 RBI
Kight, C. .350 (14x40), 0 HR, 4 RBI, 5 2B
Rutland, Z. .333 (6x18), 0 HR, 3 RBI
Haltom, S. .333 (4x12), 0 HR, 2 RBI
Farr, P. .327 (16x49), 1 HR, 5 RBI
Tann, J. .324 (11x34), 0 HR, 4 RBI, 9 SB
Ketchum, C. .318 (14x44), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 4 2B
Power, L. .318 (14x44), 5 HR, 14 RBI
Black, D. .310 (9x29), 1 HR, 4 RBI
Smith, F. .310 (13x42), 0 HR, 7 RBI
Henry, Ju. .306 (15x49), 0 HR, 7 RBI, 6 SB
Clark, A. .289 (13x45), 1 HR, 8 RBI
Kindred, D. .286 (8x28), 0 HR, 3 RBI
Hicks, D. .258 (8x31), 1 HR, 7 RBI
Cozart, Z. .255 (12x47), 1 HR, 10 RBI
McMullen, T. .250 (4x16), 1 HR, 3 RBI
Miller, Z. .250 (11x44), 1 HR, 4 RBI
Kliman, A. .233 (10x43), 3 HR, 9 RBI
Hancock, J. .227 (10x44), 4 HR, 9 RBI
Basham, B. .206 (7x34), 0 HR, 6 RBI
Sage, C. .160 (4x25), 0 HR, 2 RBI
Smith, M. .146 (6x41), 0 HR, 5 RBI, 4 2B
Bukvich, B. .100 (1x10), 0 HR, 0 RBI
White, R. .100 (1x10), 0 HR, 2 RBI
Satterwhite, C. 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 IP, 1 SO, 0 BB, .250 OppAvg.
Robbins, M. 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 IP, 1 SO, 0 BB, .250 OppAvg.
McKean, R. 1-0, 1.42 ERA, 12.2 IP, 6 SO, 3 BB, .229 OppAvg.
Kline, W. 0-0, 1.93 ERA, 14 IP, 15 SO, 0 BB, .241 OppAvg.
Bittle, S. 2-0, 2.08 ERA, 13 IP, 18 SO, 3 BB, .196 OppAvg.
Hetland, N. 0-0, 2.57 ERA, 14 IP, 14 SO, 3 BB, .236 OppAvg.
Wark, C. 1-0, 4.22 ERA, 10.2 IP, 8 SO, 2 BB, .225 OppAvg.
Hancock, J. 1-0, 4.50 ERA, 8 IP, 8 SO, 1 BB, .281 OppAvg.
Baker, N. 1-1, 5.40 ERA, 13.1 IP, 10 SO, 4 BB, .293 OppAvg.
Parker, K. 0-1, 5.68 ERA, 12.2 IP, 6 SO, 2 BB, .224 OppAvg.
McMullen, T. 1-0, 5.73 ERA, 11 IP, 10 SO, 9 BB, .320 OppAvg.
Bukvich, B. 1-1, 5.93 ERA, 13.2 IP, 17 SO, 7 BB, .224 OppAvg.
Simpson, J. 0-0, 6.00 ERA, 12 IP, 8 SO, 6 BB, .327 OppAvg.
Lynn, L. 1-1, 6.23 ERA, 13 IP, 13 SO, 6 BB, .315 OppAvg.
Smith, M. 0-0, 6.52 ERA, 9.2 IP, 8 SO, 2 BB, .304 OppAvg.
Wiley, J. 1-1, 6.92 ERA, 13 IP, 4 SO, 9 BB, .275 OppAvg.
Rodriguez, C. 0-1, 6.92 ERA, 13 IP, 9 SO, 1 BB, .278 OppAvg.
Morgan, J. 0-3, 7.45 ERA, 9.2 IP, 6 SO, 8 BB, .366 OppAvg.
Broyles, W. 0-1, 7.90 ERA, 13.2 IP, 7 SO, 5 BB, .333 OppAvg.
Flautt, T. 0-0, 14.63 ERA, 8 IP, 4 SO, 15 BB, .457 OppAvg.
Bianco's general take on fall ball
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