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Explosive!

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Perhaps it wasn't an obvious question, but it was a valid query given the circumstances.

Southern Miss So. SS B.A. Vollmuth went bananas this weekend at The Reck, hitting the ball with such ferocity (.615/.688/1.615 with 4 home runs and 11 RBIs) and fielding with such effortless grace (well, before that huge throwing error in the fourth inning on Sunday) that one had to wonder whether Owls So. 3B Anthony Rendon had taken notice. Before Rendon went 4-for-4 with two homers and three RBIs in his final four at-bats, Vollmuth had performed like the unquestioned MVP of the series. Obviously, Rendon wasn't about to be shown up.

"That's the competitiveness in me," Rendon said. "I always want to be the best on the field and try to do the best that I can. It was pretty nuts; everything you threw the guy he was hitting."

For the first time since Tulane RS So. 3B Rob Segedin went 7-for-12 with three runs, four RBIs and two homers against the Owls in mid-April, a Conference USA Player of the Year candidate left an impression as indelible as Rendon for a weekend. Vollmuth was exceptional, but like Segedin, came out on the wrong end of the most significant tally - a series victory.

While Rendon (.383/.529/.800 with 21 homers and 66 RBIs) and Segedin (.436/.519/.810 with 14 homers and 53 RBIs) continue to run 1-2 on my ballot, Vollmuth (.380/.487/.677 with 12 homers and 57 RBIs) vaulted past UCF Sr. OF Chris Duffy and East Carolina Sr. 1B/DH Kyle Roller with his all-around excellence this weekend. One week remains in the regular season and, with the Owls having already clinched the top seed in the C-USA tournament, Rendon appears to have the edge over Segedin, whose Green Wave could fail to qualify for the event. Should Tulane not make it Rendon, the far superior defensive player, should win his second consecutive C-USA POY honor. Rendon certainly cast an imposing figure this weekend.

With his second home run on Sunday, Rendon surpassed the 20 homers he launched while earning national freshman of the year honors. In fact, Rendon is trending toward besting the numbers he posted last season (.388/.461/.702 with 20 homers and 72 RBIs in 61 games), totals that exceeded all expectations he had of himself. So Rendon, are you surprised again?

"Especially since I have like 50 walks (a league-leading 55 to be precise), that's pretty crazy. I didn't think that I could do this much," Rendon said of his stats. "I wanted to come out here and try not to bat like .280. I wanted to have a good average because I know pitchers are going to pitch me differently and I knew I was going to start swinging more because I would start to get anxious. I guess it kind of clicked in my head that I can't try to do too much."

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3 Comments

MK, once more, thanks for the updates. Much appreciated Saturday night.

What a great back and forth between two remarkable talents.

The only thing that really mattered this week was getting this series victory against a red-hot team, and they did, so you have to be happy with that. But where do they go from here with the pitching? Do you they just chalk that up to a Golden Eagle team hitting on all cylinders?

With the regular season title wrapped up and hosting out of the picture, what's the approach going to be for this week's games? Stay the course and hope to build high-quality baseball going into the postseason, or tinker around some more with the bullpen?

At Ease: This is one of those times where I don't envy The OG. As he said following the loss to Oklahoma State, choosing an able reliever from one game to the next is an educated guess. Boogie was the right guess on Sunday, but with so much inconsistency, The OG might have to do more of what he did this weekend: just keep going to the pen until someone does the job. He has to be concerned with how rapidly and dramatically Simmons and Duffey have regressed of late. - MK

Given that our bullpen logged significant innings this past weekend, who will pitch vs. the Coogs on Tuesday? Might Matthew Reckling surface? Is Jeremy Fant in the mix? Or is the most likely scenario Johnny Fullstaff at an inning or two a piece?

wheredidmypantsgo: I'd anticipate Johnny Wholestaff, but I hope to get confirmation on a starter for UH later today. FWIW, Fant isn't on the postseason roster. - MK

Great write-ups, MK. What a series -- incredibly hard to listen to the the early innings, but unbelievable comebacks. One question for you: Why was McInnis pulled so early in the second game? JP said the trainer came out and talked to him before he left.

owl-1983: McInnis did appear to depart with an injury (but not whiplash from watching the Rendon home run). There are rumors that his injury is season-threatening, but I have yet to hear/read any confirmation of that rumor. I'll check around. - MK

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