Parker Caracci hasn’t made things easy on himself this week in Hoover, but the Ole Miss closer has picked up saves each of the past three days nonetheless.
Against Texas A&M on Thursday, he allowed a one-out double before closing the door on a 1-0 Ole Miss win. On Friday, he got the first two outs against Arkansas before walking the next batter on four pitches. He then got the next Razorback out to finish off the Rebels’ 3-2 win. Then, on Saturday, against Georgia, he allowed a single and a walk before working out of the jam. The Rebels won that game 5-3.
For a guy who entered the SEC Baseball Tournament with a robust 5.81 ERA, these saves have been huge. Yes, he’s a big part of the Rebels advancing to Sunday’s title game, but this is more about his confidence and the team’s confidence in him heading into the NCAA Tournament.
Final out of the game as Parker gets UGA’s King to pop up to end the game! Rebels win and are in the Championship of the #SECBaseballTournament! Clutch performance by Parker and the Rebels! pic.twitter.com/p4zc6rDkL3
— The Rebel Walk (@TheRebelWalk) May 25, 2019
Caracci and the entire Ole Miss pitching staff have been incredible this week, but now they face one last tough task if they want to repeat as tournament champions. On Sunday afternoon, the No. 1 seed Vanderbilt Commodores and hot-hitting OF JJ Bleday are waiting.
Bleday is 7-for-13 in Hoover, with one home run, two doubles, three runs and two RBI. He’s a surefire first-round pick in next week’s MLB Draft, and he’s looking to end his last SEC Tournament with a trophy.
Bleday punishes pitchers who make mistakes, like he did against LSU on Saturday afternoon:
JJ Bleday just DESTROYED this baseball 😳 pic.twitter.com/WxFmt33ppu
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) May 25, 2019
The Commodores are seemingly the only team that brought their bats with them to Hoover, as they have two of the three double-digit run performances during the tourney.
Can the Rebels get Caracci a lead heading into the ninth inning? Or, will Bleday have his way with the Ole Miss pitching staff? This is going to be a fun matchup, so be sure to carve out some time to catch the action.
The SEC Baseball Tournament title game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday and can be seen on ESPN2.