Ole Miss’ day started off well enough as the Rebels were projected by Aaron Fitt as a likely national seed. It ended with their weekend pitching plans in shambles.
The Rebels were forced to use 10 pitchers on their 11-man staff in a 7-6 loss to Southern Miss, and coach Mike Bianco was not pleased.
“It’s got to be the most pitchers I’ve ever thrown in a game, and just disappointing,” Bianco told the Clarion-Ledger. “Someone has to get them out besides the guys that pitched on the weekend all the time. We’re a little limited today in the sense of the guys we can use, but the other guys are supposed to get them out too. I don’t know if anybody of the guys we brought in even got three outs.”
Ole Miss’ bullpen struggled and blew a 4-0 lead and worse, used three weekend pitchers in hopes of securing the win. Scott Weathersby and Josh Laxer pitched scoreless innings, but Wyatt Short walked two batters and then allowed the go-ahead single in the ninth to Southern Miss’ Nick Dawson.
“We were going to pitch Laxer and we were going to pitch Short no matter what, but they were only going to pitch one inning regardless of the score,” Bianco told the newspaper. “If we were winning 10-0 or losing 10-0, they were going to pitch the eighth and the ninth. Just because we have to have them ready for the weekend, and we can’t overextend them going into the weekend. I know that’s hard to understand, but it is what it is. That’s not to say that this game is not important. Their midweek guys pitched and got us out, our guys didn’t.”
The Rebels took the lead three times in the game, including 4-0 after three innings as Sikes Orvis and Errol Robinson drove in two runs each, but the Golden Eagles battled back and tied it on a home run by Austin Roussel and an RBI single by Matt Durst in the fifth.
Bradley Roney (1-0), who also had an RBI single, picked up the win in relief, getting out of an eighth-inning jam and working a scoreless ninth.
Other Top 25 Results
Southeastern Louisiana at (3) Louisiana-Lafayette: The Ragin’ Cajuns had 13 hits to complete the midweek sweep of the home-and-home series.
“We got some big hits early,” said associate head coach Anthony Babineaux, filling in for Tony Robichaux, suspended for making contact with an umpire. “In the middle of the ballgame we had a big inning which was good to see, and then we tacked on a few from there.”
Michael Strentz finished a triple shy of the cycle and was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two walks.
“That was a lot of load off of his bat,” Babineaux said. “He has been in a season-long slump, but the one thing that he had done is shored up his catching and pitch calling. He has done a great job of keeping this pitching staff together and really working behind the plate. We knew that he was close at the plate, and I am really proud for him.”
Reliever Bo Carter (2.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K) got his first win.
(12) Alabama at Samford: Mikey White tied a school record by going 5-for-5 with two homers and four RBIs to power the Tide to a 9-5 win.
White became the 30th player in Alabama history to get five hits in a game. The last Alabama player to go 5-for-5 was Ryan Rhoden against UAB on Feb. 28, 2007.
“You don’t see that very often,” Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard told al.com. “That’s the old average-builder right there (improving from .274 to .295). Obviously a really good player and had a great night. (He) was really all over the barrel all night. He hit to all sides of the field, had two homers and just had a great night.”
Geoffrey Bramblett (3.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 4 K) picked up the win.
Ohio State at (13) Louisville: Senior Jeff Gardner hit his team-best fifth home run and senior Cole Sturgeon had four hits as the Cardinals won their seventh in a row, 7-3 over the Buckeyes. Gardner’s homer in the first gave the Cards a lead they’d never relinquish. Kyle Gibson also knocked in two runs and freshman lefthander Drew Harrington (4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K) improved to 2-0.
(15) Indiana at Miami (Ohio): The Hoosiers had 20 hits en route to a 16-1 rout. Indiana scored in seven of the nine innings as it posted season highs in runs and hits.
Tim O’Conner was 4-for-4 with four RBIs and Sam Travis had three hits and knocked in two. Kyle Schwarber hit his seventh homer.
Sullivan Stadler (3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K) picked up his second win.
(18) Oklahoma State at Wichita State: The Cowboys got their fifth shutout of the season as lefthanders Tyler Nurdin and Garrett Williams combined on the 3-0 blanking.
Nurdin (5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 3 K) improved to 3-3 and Williams (4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K) got his second save.
Tim Arakawa was 2-for-5 with two RBIs, while Aaron Cornell drove in the Cowboys' other run. Zach Fish collected a game-high three hits.
"It was really fun to watch a couple of guys that have been working extremely hard at their craft," OSU coach Josh Holliday said of Nurdin and Williams. "With the wind blowing out to right field 20-to-30 miles per hour, the pitchers had to keep the ball down, and they did. Tyler did a great job, and Garrett was outstanding as well. And we had just enough offense.”
No. 23 Central Florida's game against North Florida was postponed due to inclement weather.
Other Notable Results
Jacksonville State at Mississippi State: Ryan Sebra’s squeeze bunt scored Griff Gordon as the Gamecocks stunned Mississippi State 2-1.
Sebra’s bunt, which came against preseason All-American Jonathan Holder, dribbled up the first-base line just far enough to let Gordon score easily.
The Bulldogs had a 1-0 lead, thanks to a quality start from junior college transfer Lucas Laster (7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K), but could not hold it.
“We pitched great,” MSU coach John Cohen told the Mississippi Press. “It’s not fun to watch baseball like this. I don’t really have an answer. We have to find a way to play better.”
Jacob Lindgren took the loss.
Pepperdine at Long Beach State: The Dirtbags, fighting to stay in contention for an at-large bid, took advantage of three errors and Ryan Millison pitched seven shutout innings in a 7-0 win.
Millison (3-1) gave up six hits and no runs with five strikeouts. Nick Rosetta finished off the shutout and the Dirtbags, now back to .500 at 21-21, have not allowed a run in the past 21 innings. Colton Vaughn had three hits for Long Beach State.