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Friday, October 24, 2014

Rebels rally to top Texas Christian University

BLOG: Good morning from Texas A&M’s Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park in College Station, Texas.

First pitch for today’s Game 1 matchup between second-seeded TCU and third-seeded Ole Miss is set for 12:35 p.m.

Former Tennessee Vol and major league player Chris Burke will be calling the game along side Ducis Rogers.

ON THE MOUND: In order to earn a win today, the Rebels will have to hit around TCU right-hander Preston Morrison. The recent All-American is 9-1 on the year with a 1.73 ERA. In 98.2 innings, Morrison has struck out just 64, but issued just eight walks while also holding opponent to a .201 batting average.

Morrison is no stranger to the Rebels. In the first series of the season, Morrison pitched 3.1 perfect innings in relief on Sunday to earn the win in his collegiate debut.

Ole Miss will turn to usual ace Bobby Wahl.

The sophomore RHP is 6-3 on the year with a 2.26 ERA. In 87.2 innings, the All-SEC second teamer struck out a team-high 90 with 31 walks and an opponents batting average of .211.

In the season opener at TCU, Wahl allowed two runs over five innings to secure the win. As Wahl said in today’s print edition of the EAGLE, it wasn’t his best performance but learned from it.

———IN TODAY’S EAGLE———

In today’s EAGLE:
Wahl has become a different pitcher this year
Rebels, Frogs downplay first meeting

——— MEMORY LANE———

Earlier in the week, Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco talked briefly about catching the LSU Tigers in the 1989 College Station Regional. During Thursday’s media availability, the Rebel skipper expanded a bit on that series. As one Texas A&M reporter said, folks haven’t forgotten that series. Neither has Bianco, although he plays it off like it was 100 years ago.

“It was a great moment for me personally. My senior year I was a part of the LSU baseball team came here in 1989 and played one of the best college baseball teams ever,” he said. “The time we played them in a Regional final, they had Chuck Knoblauch at shortstop and (John) Byington at third. They were like 58-5 and beat their opponents like 66-3 in the Regional. I remember because I was as senior. But we got to Omaha and had fond memories. The place looks totally different than it did at that time. That was long time ago.”

———STARTING LINEUP———

OLE MISS REBELS (35-24 overall)
RF Tanner Mathis (.346 BA/ .445OBP/ .394 SLG)
2B Alex Yarbrough (.389/.442/.517)
1B Matt Snyder (.333/.401/.568)
LF Zach Kirksey (.287/.385/.651)
CF Auston Bousfield (.285/.357/.372)
DH Sikes Orvis (.256/.360/.372)
C Will Allen (.305/.335/.400)
3B Andrew Mistone (.230/.294/.285)
SS Jake Overbey (.227/.370/.227)
RHP Bobby Wahl (6-3, 2.26 ERA)

TCU HORNED FROGS (36-19) 
CF Kyle Von Tungeln (.287/.397/.410)
C Josh Elander (.314/.442/.505)
DH Kevin Cron (.366/.412/.496)
3B Jantzen Witte (.331/.388/.444)
2B Derek Odell (.276/.346/.407)
LF Jerrick Suiter (.291/.352/.350)
1B Brett JOhnson (.240/.336/.344)
RF Brance Rivera (.219/.335/.298)
SS Keaton Jones (.176/.297/.203)
RHP Preston Morrison (9-1, 1.73)

———SCORING SUMMARY———

 TCU 1, Ole Miss 0 (Bottom 1): After the Rebels went 1-2-3 to open the game, TCU center fielder Kyle Von Tungeln and catcher Josh Elander led off the bottom half of the first with back-to-back singles. Designated hitter Kevin Cron then grounded out to first, scoring Von Tungeln from third.

TCU 2, Ole Miss 0 (Bottom 4): Cron extended TCU’s lead in the fourth. After falling behind in the count, Cron swatted a leadoff homer over the left field wall.

OLE MISS 2, TCU 2 (Top 6): After quietly going through the first five innings, the Ole Miss offense woke up a bit in the sixth. Right fielder Tanner Mathis led off the frame with a single up the middle and then scored on a triple to right-center by second baseman Alex Yarbrough. First baseman Matt Snyder then scored Yarbrough on a groundout to the second baseman plain in shallow right field.

OLE MISS 6, TCU 2 (Top 8): Two innings later the Rebels surged ahead by scoring four runs off of three Horned Frog pitchers. Mathis and Yarbrough led off the frame with a walk and single off left-handed reliever Brandon Finnegan. With a 1-2 count on Snyder, TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle opted to bring in Kevin Allen. While the right-hander struck out Snyder with a pitch in the dirt, his next plunked left fielder Zach Kirksey to load the bases. Center fielder Auston Bousfield jumped ahead of Allen 3-0 before having to work a full-count walk to score Mathis and put Ole Miss ahead 3-2. Fellow freshman Sikes Orvis then pushed the Rebels ahead 5-2 with a two-out single up the middle that scored Yarbrough and Kirksey. Bousfield advanced to third on the hit and then scored when a ball of the bat of catcher Austin Knight went between the legs of TCU second baseman Derek Odell.

Senior R.J. Hively picked up where starter Bobby Wahl left off, striking out three over the final two innings to preserve the win. Wahl struck out nine while allowing just two runs over seven innings to improve to 7-3 on the year. Finnegan was charged with two runs without registering an out to earn the loss. TCU starter Preston Morrison pitched well for the Horned Frogs, allowing two runs over 6.1 innings while striking out five against two walks. The Rebels opened the game aggressive against Morrison, swinging early in the count but later adjusted and began taking more pitches and working the count a bit more.

Here’s today’s box score:

———EXTRA BASES———

Jake Overbey earned his fifth start of the season in place of Blake Newalu. While the senior took infield practice Thursday, Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said the he was still in too much pain from his shin splints to start and while he could run, he’s not available to start. Bianco said Newalu will still be considered day-to-day… Hively threw 27 pitches in his first action since the Rebels played at Vanderbilt to close out the regular season and looked fine, allowing just one hit in his two scoreless frames. Post-game, Bianco said the team will take a wait-and-see approach as far as Hively’s availability for the rest of the regional is concerned… Kirk McConnell‘s had a grandparent pass away and so Rebel assistant Stephen Head stepped in as the first base coach. Bianco said McConnell will be back for tomorrow’s 6:35 p.m. game… Mathis, Yarbrough and Mistone each had two hits to lead Ole Miss, while Tungeln led  his squad with two hits.

Ole Miss will send Mike Mayers (5-3, 3.52 ERA) to the mound tomorrow to face the winner of Texas A&M and Dayton.

Miss today’s game? Click HERE to check out the photo gallery from Ole Miss’ 6-2 win.

TCU’s Kevin Cron, Jim Schlossnagle, Kyle Von Tungeln discuss the game:

Ole Miss’ Bobby WahlSikes OrvisMike Bianco and Alex Yarbrough discuss the game:
 (June 1, 2012)

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