J.B. Woodman recognized for his ‘super’ performance
OXFORD – J.B. Woodman’s two home runs Saturday afternoon against then-No. 8 LSU not only gave then-No. 9 Ole Miss the 8-2 win and 2-1 series win, but they also gave his teammates even more reason to refer to the center fielder as “Superman.”
Woodman’s superpowers were evident as he went 2-for-4 on the day, scored three runs, and had four RBI. For the series, he hit three home runs, drove in eight runs and threw three runners out at the plate.
For his efforts, Woodman was named SEC Player of the Week on Monday and National Hitter of the Week on Tuesday by the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association.
Freshman right-handed pitcher James McArthur praised Woodman’s stellar performance in Saturday’s game, calling Woodman “Superman.” Who could argue with that moniker?
As for Woodman, once he got word of his new “superpowers,” he just smiled and chuckled.
Woodman’s two home runs help Rebs dominate Tigers
In Saturday’s series finale with the Tigers, Ole Miss (33-12, 12-9 Southeastern Conference) was in complete control – including a 4-0 lead after the first two innings – following two homers from Woodman and one from third baseman Colby Bortles.
Woodman admitted the playing conditions, including rain and a 46-minute weather delay, were a little bothersome, but it did not look as if either hindered him in the slightest. He didn’t think he had his best swing on the first home run, but felt he was better able to get under the second one. Both were deep center field hits.
“It was good,” said Woodman of his own performance. “I don’t know about that nickname, but it was good.”
Grabbing the Tigers by the tail
His defense was outstanding as he showcased the strength of his throwing arm to home plate any time a runner for LSU was in scoring position. He threw out three baserunners in the series against the Tigers.
Bianco said he couldn’t remember the last time a position player played so solidly for three straight games. Against LSU, Ole Miss totaled 31 hits, and Woodman had six of them, including eight RBI. In the series, Woodman was 6-for-12 with three home runs, two doubles and five runs.
The Rebels’ head coach knew Woodman’s performance was special.
Woodman’s effect on the game was not just with his bat. “He was an impact in every game and some of the things weren’t even the assists, the hits or the home runs,” Bianco added.
Mike Bianco on J.B. Woodman
From his center field position, Woodman threw three runners out at the plate in the series and now has a team-high nine outfield assists this season.
Rebels in the hunt for SEC West title
Woodman wasn’t the only solid performer for the Rebels Saturday. Second baseman Tate Blackman and Bortles (two RBIs) each went 3-for-4 at bat, and left fielder Cameron Dishon was 2-for-4 with a RBI.
The series win helps keep the Rebels in the hunt for a possible SEC West title.
What are the No. 7 Rebels doing differently at this point in the season from earlier games that saw them struggle offensively?
Just ask “Superman.”
“I think we hit part of the year where we were trying to do too much,” Woodman said. “I think we are getting back to who we are, winning pitches and staying short with our swings and it’s been really good.”
Or, perhaps, one could instead say it’s been “super.”
(Feature image credit: Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics)
Courtney is from Memphis and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in May of 2014. He began his journalism career covering the Memphis Tigers Men’s basketball team, which landed him an intern position on 730 Yahoo Sports Radio and a position with Rivals.com. A freelance writer for the Associated Press, Courtney is also a member of The Rebel Walk team and reports regularly on Ole Miss football and basketball. Courtney, the father of a six-year old girl named Soniyah, prefers to cover NCAA basketball and football, but is happy to report on any other sport that comes his way.