Southern Miss begins baseball season with a couple of early scrimmages

News and Notes from the start of baseball season practices..

I will start with how positions in the field looked. The staff is still working Nick Dawson at short stop. He is more of a natural second baseman with a second baseman type arm strength.  So far he has been a bit slow to balls away from him and does not appear to possess the arm strength you want at that position. Tracey Hadley has the arm and the range, but to this point has not shown enough consistency with the glove to make the coaches feel comfortable enough with him at short stop.

Chase Scott continues to get work at second base. He has been serviceable there, but it does not appear to be real natural fit for him. I like him better in the outfield. In a perfect world, Nick would be back where he belongs at second base, but not having a legit short stop might necessitate him filling at short stop. Short stop appears to be the only question mark the eagles have in the field.

The outfield looks to be lefty Hunter Slater and righty Daniel Keating platooning in left field. Center appears to belong to senior transfer lefty jake Sandlin, but due to a recent injury Dylan Burdeaux is presently manning center. If Burdeaux has to man center, both Keating and Slater can move over to right and handle the job with no problem. The catching position belongs to junior Chuckie Robinson with JC transfer Claudio Rubiera providing solid back up.

Notes from the scrimmage:

Solid pitching performances were turned in by probable Friday night starter Jake Winston and weekend starter Kirk McCarty. McCarty was smooth in his three innings of work spotting both his fastball and curve for strikes. He recorded a strikeout with no walks in three innings of work. Winston was sharp today recording there K's, while walking one, in three innings of work. Freshman lefty Stevie Powers continues to impress and looks to be a youngster that could provide a week day start or fill some innings in middle relief. He brings a live fastball, with command of a nice curve and changeup. J.C. Keyes threw today and had a tough time finding the zone. He appears headed for a redshirt unless injuries dictate otherwise.

Super freshman lefty Nick Sandlin continues to impress. He has been tough to deal with in the closer role. His breaking ball not only makes righties look foolish, but has proven hard for the catcher to handle. When he faces lefties his change is equally nasty. If he stays healthy, the little sidewinder has a chance to be as good as any reliever we have had in the last 15 years. 

Chuckie Robinson showed some nice power Saturday with a monster three run blast that cleared the scoreboard. Chuck also continues to gun down anyone foolish enough to try and swipe a base on him. Saturday Dylan Burdeaux continued where he left off this Fall showing his power with a solo shot over the center field wall, and a double off of the center field wall.

Taylor Braley looks to build on a freshman campaign that garnered him freshman all america honors. He had an RBI double off the centerfield wall and another smash to left that was tracked down, but provided an RBI. In today's scrimmage, catcher Claudio Rubiera smoked a line shot homer that ricocheted off of the big billboard in left field. With that said, it appears that our boys got it done in the off season strength program. As they say, our fella's look the part getting off of the bus. Chase Scott, who is affectionately known as the squirrel, flashed his power today with a hot gap shot to left center that plated a run.  

Tracey Hadley also showed his has some pop in his bat provided a double off of the left field wall today. He can really run as well. He is a really impressive athlete. He just needs to show more consistency in the field. He could be our ace in the hole if he can get it together at short. That is it for today. I will try to provide more scrimmage notes as the guys prep for opening day.

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