Inside Southern Miss baseball

News, Notes, and Observations from Friday's baseball scimmage..

Friday afternoon at the Pete the Golden Eagle baseball squad was met with blustery, cold conditions. The weather, however, could not cool the Eagles hot bats, as several balls left the yard during batting practice. It was nice to see, Brian Dozier, and Anthony Alford hanging with the team, while taking batting practice. I personally enjoyed hearing the sweet sound of a wooden bat in action, as the pro ball players got in some quality swings.

Starting pitcher Hayden Roberts was put through the paces getting five innings of quality work. Roberts recorded six strikeouts over two walks. Hayden's fastball was consistently 90-91 and his location was sharp. He located well on both sides of the plate for strikes and was able to miss high, healthy when ahead in the count, trying to induce a poor swing from the batter. His curve ball was also effective, and his change consistently stayed low in the zone. His only mistake of the day was a curve he left high in the zone that big lefty Jake Vienne 6-5 220 deposited into the Roost.

Junior hurler Cooper Jones got the start for the Black squad. The right hander could not locate his breaking ball, and was left to rely on his fastball. Jones only lasted one inning, giving up two walks and three hits.

Junior left fielder Daniel Keating bailed out Jones with a big time diving catch that ended the inning and easily saved two runs.

Trent Driver came in for the Black, but was not as sharp as usual. He got into a little trouble recording two walks, but then induced a 1-6-3 double play to get out of trouble. It appears they are tinkering with the idea of working Driver in some situational middle relief, as well as his more natural spot as a closer.

Juco transfer Jake Vienne continues to impress. The 6-5 lefty from Moline Illinois has shined at first and proved to be a steady back-up at catcher. Jake continues to pound right handed pitching taking Hayden Roberts deep to right today for a two run homer.

Second baseman Storme Cooper has added some quality weight and has shined defensively in the field. In limited work, Storme has a hard single to center during the second inning.

Calder Mikell 6-1 170 SO. came in to pitch in the fifth inning, with two outs and a runner on second to face Dylan Burdeaux. Mikell induced a ground ball to third to get out of the inning. Mikell consistently spotted a nice curve for strikes, but was erratic with his lively fastball. If he he can dial in that 92 mph fastball, and work that nasty curve like he did today, he could be a huge boost to the staff.

Cole Donaldson was again stellar behind he plate gunning down a runner at third, but the third baseman missed the tag on a nice slide by Burdeaux. Donaldson also delivered a sharp single to center during the scrimmage. Maack handles the bat well, and runs much better than your average catcher.

That is about it for today. The guys only worked six innings. The bats were effective today especially for a day when the wind was blowing in, and the wind creating cold conditions. The defense was also very solid with zero errors for either team.

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