'Second Season' Begins Wednesday

HOOVER, Ala. - No. 8 seed Ole Miss and top seed Georgia will take the Regions Park field at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the first round of the SEC Tournament. Here are thoughts from the Rebels heading into postseason play.

Mike Bianco

On pitching this week after Lance Lynn and also Drew Pomeranz's recent struggles

We were going to announce (the rotation past Wednesday) but there is no reason to. A lot depends on who we play and the matchups. It is game-by-game now. Play one and then move on.

He (Pomeranz) had a tough couple weeks, but I think it is a lot of different things. If we had fielded the ball a little bit against Kentucky, and they were really hot and swinging the bats as well. How they swung it against Lance was a good indication of that. Although he (Pomeranz) gave up some hits, we could have helped him and made it a lot easier to keep the game intact.

Not to give the perception that he would have rolled lately if the defense hadn't been what it was, but he would have stayed in the game longer, and we would have had more of a chance. Against Auburn, he got hit around. However, he pitched well against Georgia. A couple home runs, or he would have gotten the win. He came out 4-3, and he really was terrific against the conference champions.

On stepping up Saturday against Kentucky

I think we played much better mentally and emotionally during the Saturday game which is sometimes harder to figure out. There was more pressure on that game than the others.

On struggling with expectations this season

You hope Hoover is a different scene (concerning confidence), and it is one of the things we have fought all year – the expectations and belief that this is a great team. And it still can be. We are the same team physically that we were in February. But at times we haven't played like that. We haven't been consistent, and I would be less than honest if I was asked if it has been a factor and I said no. We always talk about handling those expectations. Pressure is a good thing if you want to be a top program.

You look at this team at the beginning of the season, and it was the feeling everybody had from the media to the coaches to the players, everybody. This is a team that is one game different in the conference record last year. Yet it has been a lot different feeling throughout the entire season. Certainly the reason for that is quite obvious considering the expectations and high rankings. We have struggled with that. Now in the second season if you will, in the postseason, we hope to play with a different confidence level and mental state.


On the injury, and his thoughts when it occurred

It had been raining all day, and my right foot slipped. It felt weird and was a different feeling from anything I have ever had before. Something felt wrong, and there was pain.

I wasn't thinking about the draft. More about this team and this season. It is exciting for us to get in the postseason, and we still have a chance to make the run we want to make. For us it is a new start. I want to be there for my team and be able to pitch again.

Scott BIttle

On the postseason

Arkansas gave us a second chance, and then after the Saturday win, we all breathed a sigh of relief I guess you could say.

The pressure is never off. We have to go out and play good baseball against the best of the SEC. It will be a tough week. I think we just need to go out and play our best baseball. Hopefully that will be enough to get us into the tournament.

Jake Morgan

It is a great feeling to know we took care of it Saturday. I was talking to some of the guys and everybody agrees that things feel different now. We can just go to Hoover and play. It is a stress relief, and we seem like a different team.

We haven't even talked about it (NCAAs) as a team. Just go and win as many as you can.

Extra Innings

Georgia is starting pitcher Nick Montgomery against Ole Miss. Montgomery tossed 0.2 innings and allowed four runs on four hits during the Rebels' 9-4 victory in Athens. On the season, Montgomery, a right-hander, is 2-1 with a 4.66 ERA, 40 Ks, 12 BBs and 38.2 IP.

Normal Friday night starter Trevor Holder has experienced some stiffness in his throwing arm, so Georgia is avoiding throwing him two days short of normal rest. The Bulldogs were rained out last Thursday against Alabama and were forced to play a doubleheader last Friday. Holder was roughed up by the Tide to the tune of six runs on seven hits in 1.2 innings.

Lynn is 2-0 in SEC Tournament play. The junior bested Alabama in 2006 and Tennessee in 2007.

The Bulldogs are the first team to win four of the five major conference awards for the first time in SEC history. Gordon Beckham was named the unanimous SEC Player of the Year and Scholar Athlete of the Year. Josh Fields was named SEC Pitcher of the Year, and Perno received the Coach of the Year award.

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