Kurt Wilson is Quickly Becoming Mr. June
I guess it's not necessarily true to say that Kurt Wilson is "quickly" becoming Mr. June. This started two seasons ago when he hit that monster bomb against Oklahoma State in the Super Regional to send Texas Tech to Omaha. It was game three, June 9th, 2019. Oklahoma State and Texas Tech had both hit several home runs in the game, but nobody hit a bigger one than Kurt Wilson. It was the bottom of the 8th inning when his 3-run dinger put the Red Raiders on top for good 8-6.
It was glorious and at the time, no offense to Wilson, I thought it would be the pinnacle of his Red Raider career.
Wilson came in as a reliever. He threw alright but saw the writing on the wall that he wasn't going to be used much out of the bullpen. Legend has it that near the end of Big 12 play in 2019 Wilson submitted a question to Coach Tim Tadlock's coaches show asking when Wilson, himself, would be getting more at-bats.
At-bats he would receive.
Fast forward to 2021 and Wilson was the starting shortstop. For one game. Then he played third base, left field, right field, and wherever else just to get his bat in the lineup. It was all going well until he broke his thumb. After 2020, the expectation was that Wilson would just end a second season early.
That wasn't Wilson's plan though and started the regional game against Army.
I was surprised. Sure, we'd seen Wilson in a few pitching appearances in the past month, but he'd had a big brace on his hand. We didn't see him with a bat in his hand until he started getting base hits off of Army pitching. Well, one hit. But still! Low expectations after missing so much time.
Wilson apparently needed only one game to get back into the groove though.
Last night against North Carolina in an extremely huge spot with the game precariously hanging in the balance after a really bizarre review situation where North Carolina nearly took the lead, he did this.
So much more than an insurance run. That home run zapped North Carolina's will to win. The game could have been called. Just a monster dong shot to let the opposing dugout know it wasn't going to happen tonight for them and they could try again tomorrow.
Then the next inning, video courtesy of Matt Wells, Kurt Wilson tacked onto the lead with a screaming mimi back up the shortstop's hole.
That crowd was electric by the way.
I don't know if I can name an important at-bat Kurt Wilson has had in his career, not in the month of June. I'm sure they've been there. He's a solid player, but he's the kind of player who just hits the second gear in the postseason. He could really solidify himself in the next 25 days as an absolute living legend if he can continue his torrid June pace from the last two June's.
By the way, Ryan Sublette has filthy stuff and threw 3.2 near-perfect innings last night and struck out 8 Tarheels, and didn't give up a single run. A beautiful bounceback from a couple of Friday night appearances to close Big 12 play. The player of the game in my opinion, even with Kurt Wilson's two gigantic at-bats.