BLOG: The first Southeastern Conference series all comes down to today for the Alabama Crimson Tide and Ole Miss Rebels. First pitch is set for 1:30 p.m. at Ole Miss Oxford-University Stadium.After claiming a shutout victory in Game 1, Ole Miss was unable to rally against the Tide late in Game 2 yesterday to set up today’s winner-take-all Game 3.
SCORES FROM AROUND THE SEC:
Ole Miss 4, Alabama 0
Arkansas 6, Auburn 5 (11 inn.)
Florida 5, LSU 4
Georgia 4, South Carolina 2
Kentucky 5, Tennessee 3
Vanderbilt 10, Mississippi State 0
Alabama 7, Ole Miss 5
Auburn 9, Arkansas 5
Florida 1, LSU 0
South Carolina 2, Georgia 1
Tennessee 12, Kentucky 8
Vanderbilt 4, Mississippi State 0
LOOK WHO’S STARTING: Taking the mound today for Ole Miss will be junior college left-hander Austin Wright. The Chipola (Fla.) C.C. standout enters today’s game with a 2.66 ERA and a 2-1 record in four starts. In 23.2 innings pitched, Wright has struck out 25 and walked nine. Opponents are also hitting.267 off of him, the highest amongst Ole Miss’ weekend starters. Wright is coming off of his best start as a Rebel. Last Sunday, Wright went a season-long 8.0 scoreless innings, striking out nine without handing out any walks.
Starting for Alabama will be right-handed sophomore Tucker Hawley. Hawley is 3-1 on the year with a 2.16 ERA. The Aiken, S.C., native has struck out 17 and walked just two in 25.0 innings on the mound. In his previous start against Eastern Illinois, Hawley also pitched 8.0 scoreless innings, striking out three against zero walks. The shutout extended Hawley’s shutout streak to 17.0 consecutive innings.
ALABAMA (12-7 overall, 1-1 SEC)
CF Taylor Dugas .377 BA
C Brock Bennett .431
SS Jared Reaves .382
DH Brett Whitaker .000 (4 ABs)
1B Austen Smith .220
2B Jon Kelton .245
RF Andrew Miller .312
3B James Tullidge .231
LF Jeremiah Tullidge .211
RHP Tucker Hawley (3-1, 2.16 ERA)
LHP Taylor Wolfe
OLE MISS (15-5, 1-1)
CF Tanner Mathis .307
2B Alex Yarbrough .288
RF Matt Smith .283
DH Matt Snyder .286
LF Matt Tracy .327
1B Preston Overbey .309
3B Austin Anderson .273
C Miles Hamblin .262
SS Blake Newalu .333
LHP Austin Wright (2-1, 2.66)
RHP Blair Wright
RHP Mike Mayers
RHP Jake Morgan
Alabama 2, Ole Miss 0 (TOP 2): A single by James Tullidge off the glove of pitcher Austin Wright, and a squeeze play during the next at-bat, gave Alabama an early 2-0 victory over the Rebels.
Alabama 5, Ole Miss 0 (TOP 4): Alabama jumped on Wright in the fourth inning, leading off with a double and an RBI-single by Andrew Miller that scored Jon Kelton. Three batters later Taylor Dugas hit a two-run homer over the Alabama bullpen and Wright was pulled in favor of right-hander Blair Wright.
Alabama 5, Ole Miss 1 (BOTTOM 4): Ole Miss finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth thanks to an RBI-single by Matt Tracy that scored Tanner Mathis from third base.
Alabama 5, Ole Miss 3 (BOTTOM 6): Mathis scored Ole Miss’ second run of the game in the sixth inning, tagging from third base on a sacrifice fly from Matt Smith. Two batters later, Alex Yarbrough scored from third on a sacrifice fly by Matt Tracy.
Alabama 6, Ole Miss 3 (TOP : With Jake Morgan on the mound for the Rebels, Alabama extended its lead to 6-3 in the top of the eighth thanks to an RBI-single up the middle bu Jeremiah Tullidge that scored Miller.
Alabama 6, Ole Miss 4 (BOTTOM : Ole Miss responded with one run of its own in the bottom of the frame. Smith scored on a standup double from Matt Snyder with one out. Ole Miss was unable to get Snyder across the plate, however, to inch closer to Alabama’s lead.
Ole Miss was retired in order in the ninth by Alabama closer Jonathan Smart to save his second consecutive game and third of the season.
Hawley earned the win for Alabama, allowing three runs in 5.1 innings, while Austin Wright took the loss after allowing five runs on six hits and one walk in 3.2 innings.
MORGAN HURT: After throwing a strike to Austen Smith in the ninth inning, closer Jake Morgan was met on the mound by Mike Bianco, catcher Miles Hamblin and trainer Tony Barnett. After a brief discussion he was pulled in favor of Eric Callender and headed to the clubhouse.
Following the game, Bianco said they believe Morgan had injured his AC joint and would undergo an MRI tonight. During the post-game meeting in left field, Morgan looked pretty down, with his jersey unbuttoned, and went straight to the clubhouse upon the meeting’s conclusion without talking to anyone.
NEXT UP: Ole Miss will return to action on Tuesday, hosting Samford. Bianco said he expects Tracy to get the start for the Rebels. (March 20, 2011)