Notes from a weekend in Texas

FORT WORTH, Texas - Some tidbits from a weekend deep in the heart of the Lone Star State.

The Rebels' pitchers were the highlight of the weekend. Lance Lynn and Scott Bittle were terrific in game one. When Cody Satterwhite struggled in game two, Rory McKean stepped in and had five solid innings. The third-year sophomore RHP from Montgomery, Ala., has worked hard, paid his dues, and become a pitcher the Rebs can count on.

"I wanted to come in and keep us in it," said McKean, who gave the Rebels a chance in game two, allowing no runs on two hits with two strikeouts and a walk in those five frames.

McKean had two balk calls during his time on the mound. But the Rebels had two players ejected during that same game, and the umpires appeared to be a little trigger happy by some of their actions.

McKean appeared to shake off those balk calls, gather himself and pick his game up even more.

"Stuff like that is tough, especially being on the road," McKean said. "You want to try to not hurt yourself when stuff like that happens. But you just have to bear down and focus more, and that's what I tried to do."

McKean said his confidence is high.

"Every time out there builds my confidence," he said. "Pitching five innings twice this week is the longest I've pitched in a long time. It feels good to be out there helping the team."

The Rebels' closer, Justin Cryer, has labored some when he's been in. There's a lot of confidence in him from his coaches and teammates, and with SEC play beginning he will have even more opportunities to step up in key late-game situations.

But had the catch been made in center in game two, Cryer and the Rebels would have gone another inning at least in that one. We would have been able to have seen more of Cryer had that happened, along with perhaps a Rebel win in that one as well.

RS freshman catcher Zach Rutland did a more than admirable job coming in when Brett Basham exited in game two. The Memphis University School product is another who has paid his dues, gotten in better shape, and committed himself to becoming a contributor in this program.

With Kyle Henson out for 15 more games, Rutland may be called upon in other key situations. Having Rutland in games now will alow the Rebels to have three experienced catchers when the late-season push rolls around and tournament time comes.

Cody Overbeck with six and Michael Guerrero with six had 12 of the Rebels' 22 hits on the weekend.

The Rebels and the Horned Frogs will play three baseball games in Oxford next season.

The Rebels were well represented in the stands at all three games. A large contingent made the trip from Mississippi and the Memphis area, and as usual many parents were on hand as well as Rebel fans in the D-FW Metroplex.

UM QB Jevan Snead and his family were in attendance at the games. Stephenville, Texas, where they are from, is about 70 miles from Fort Worth.

Before leaving the campus Sunday, I drove by the basketball and football facilities. Their football indoor practice facility, which opened last May, is named for the late Horned Frog great Sammy Baugh.

Their basketball arena, Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, opened in 1961 and is basically the same plan as the one used for Tad Smith Coliseum four years later. They are almost identical, especially inside. The main difference is that Tad Smith seats some 2,000 more than the DMC at TCU, where capacity is listed at just over 7,200.

Amon G. Carter Stadium, home of Horned Frog football, was the scene of a memorable Ole Miss win back in 1983. Current Rebel offensive coordinator Kent Austin led the Rebs to a 20-7 victory over TCU, only the Rebels' second win in the first seven games that season. But the victory over the Horned Frogs spurred Ole Miss to five consecutive wins (Vanderbilt, LSU, Tennessee, and Mississippi State followed the victory in Fort Worth) and a bowl bid in Coach Billy Brewer's first season.

Amon Carter opened in 1930 when TCU football was a national power, and Ole Miss coaching legend John Vaught was an All-American offensive guard for the Horned Frogs.

In 1982 when Ole Miss hosted TCU for homecoming, the Rebels added Vaught's name in front of Hemingway Stadium. Ole Miss defeated Vaught's alma mater 27-9 that day in Oxford.

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