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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Turner blasts No. 13 Rebs to series sweep of No. 14 TCU

BLOG: Looking to start the season with a series sweep of pseudo-rival No. 14 TCU, the No. 13 Ole Miss Rebels will turn to sophomore right-hander Chris Ellis.

First pitch for Game 3 of the three-game series is set for noon.

In 2012, the Rebels posted a 2-3 record against TCU after splitting a rain-shortened opening series in Fort Worth, Texas, before dropping 2 of 3 against the Horned Frogs in the College Station (Texas) Regional.

Last season Ellis proved to be a valuable option out of the pen, posting a 4-0 record and a 2.84 ERA in 19 appearances. The former 50th-round draft selection of the Los Angeles Dodgers also sruck out 29 and walked eight in 31.2 innings. Ellis’ one start came against Jackson State on March 27. Against the Tigers, Ellis allowed one hit and one walk while striking out six in four innings of work.

Taking the mound for TCU will be junior right-hander Stefan Crichton. As a sophomore, Crichton was 9-2 with a 3.41 ERA. In 95 innings, Crichton struck out 53 against 18 walks. In the second game the season last year, Crichton allowed three runs on six hits and and one walk in 4.2 innings of work. Thanks to 3.2 scoreless innings of relief from Preston Morrison — who allowed two runs in seven innings against the Rebels on Saturday — the Horned Frogs ended up earning a 5-3 win to split the series.

HOW THE SERIES WAS WON:

No. 13 Ole Miss 1, No. 14 TCU 0
No. 13 Ole Miss 5, No. 14 TCU 2

HERE is Saturday’s photo gallery.

——— AROUND THE SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE ———

Friday’s Results
Ole Miss 1, TCU 0
Mississippi State 16, Portland 1
Alabama 8, VMI 3
Arkansas 9, Western Illinois 1
Auburn 3, Maine 2
Duke 4, Florida 3
Georgia 6, Georgia Southern 5
Kentucky 9, UNC Asheville 2
LSU 1, Maryland 0
Southern Miss 5, Missouri 2
South Carolina 4, Liberty 3
UNLV 10, Tennessee 9
UIC 2, Texas A&M 0
Vanderbilt 10, Long Beach State 4

Saturday’s Results
Ole Miss 5, TCU 2
Mississippi State 2, Portland 1
Alabama 10, VMI 5
Arkansas 7, Western Illinois 2
Auburn 12, Maine 3
Auburn 4, Maine 3
Florida 4, Duke 2
Georgia Southern 3, Georgia 2
Kentucky vs. USC Upstate, 3 p.m. (POSTPONED)
LSU 5, Maryland 1
Southern Miss 5, Missouri 3
Liberty at South Carolina, 12:30 p.m. (POSTPONED)
Tennessee 8, UNLV 3
UNLV 5, Tennessee 4
Texas A&M 4, Illinois-Chicago 3
Vanderbilt 12, Long Beach State 2

Sunday’s Games
TCU at Ole Miss, Noon
Portland at Mississippi State (DH), 1 p.m.
VMI at Alabama, 1 p.m.
West Illinois at Arkansas, 1 p.m.
Maine at Auburn, 11 a.m.
Duke at Florida, 11 a.m.
Georgia at Georgia Southern, 12:30 p.m.
Kentucky vs. Niagara, 3 p.m.
Maryland at LSU, Noon
Missouri at Southern Miss, 1 p.m.
Liberty at South Carolina (DH), Noon.
Tennessee at UNLV, 3 p.m.
UIC at Texas A&M, 1 p.m.
Long Beach State at Vanderbilt, 1 p.m.

Monday’s Game
Kentucky vs. USC-Upstate (makeup from Feb. 16), Noon.

———STARTING LINEUPS———

No. 14 TCU HORNED FROGS (0-2 overall)
CF Cody Jones
3B Jantzen Witte
1B Kevin Cron
2B Derek Odell
DH Jerrick Suiter
LF Brett Johnson
RF Kevin Daniels
SS Keaton Jones
C Kyle Bacak
RHP Stefan Crichton

No. 13 OLE MISS REBELS (2-0) 
LF Tanner Mathis
SS Austin Anderson
CF Auston Bousfield
DH Will Allen
1B Sikes Orvis
C Stuart Turner
3B Andrew Mistone
RF Preston Overbey
2B Lance Wilson
RHP Chris Ellis

——— SCORING SUMMARY ———

TEXAS CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY 1, Ole Miss 0 (Top 1): TCU didn’t waste any time getting on Chris Ellis, making his first weekend start of his career. After Ellis fell behind in the count, TCU third baseman Jantzen Witte hit a one-out homer into the Rebels’ bullpen. Ellis struggled a bit to find the strike zone, perhaps because of nerves, but sandwiched a full-count walk between two strikeouts to get out of the frame. Ellis consistently was in the low 90s and hit 94 several times on the stadium’s radar gun.

OLE MISS 4, Texas Christian University 1 (Bottom 1): Stuart Turner made his his first hit as a Rebel counted. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the first, the junior college standout blasted a grand slam over the Rebels’ bullpen. Heading into Sunday’s game, the former LSU-Eunice standout was 0-for-4 with one walk, one hit-by-pitch and one run scored (for a .333 on-base percentage). Austin Anderson and Sikes Orvis walked ahead of Turner, while Auston Bousfield singled through the left side of the infield to set up the Rebels’ first extra-base hit of the season.

OLE MISS 5, Texas Christian University 1 (Bottom 4): Anderson scored Tanner Mathis from first with a double to the left-center gap off TCU relief pitcher Trevor Seidenberger. Anderson was 0-for-7 heading into Sunday’s game.

Ole Miss 5, TEXAS CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY 2 (TOP 6): TCU pushed a second run across the plate in the top of the sixth on a groundout by Derek Odell. Witte led off the frame with a double into the left field corner off Ole Miss reliever Josh Laxer and advanced to third on a groundout by Kevin Cron.

FINAL SCORE: No. 13 Ole Miss 5, No. 14 TCU 2.

HOW THE GAME WAS WON: Things got interesting in the seventh as the Horned Frogs loaded the bases with two outs for Witte. Redshirt sophomore Scott Weathersby, making his Rebel debut, bailed teammate and fellow relief pitcher Jeremy Massie out by inducing a groundout to short to end the threat. After pitching into the eighth, Tanner Bailey pitched the final 1.2 innings to earn the save.

TCU starter Stefan Crichton was hit with the loss, allowing four runs in one inning.

After going hitless in his first two games as a Rebel, Turner made up for it by going 2-for-4 with a grand slam and a double.

Due to a pre-determined pitch count, Ellis earned the win in his first weekend start after allowing one run on two hits and three walks in four innings. Post-game, Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said the sophomore suffered an abdominal strain several weeks ago and because of rest and recent rain had not pitched the final two intrasquad weekends leading up to this weekend.

PARTING VIEWS: Below are post-game interviews with Ellis, Turner and Weathersby:

Ole Miss (3-0 overall) will be back in action Wednesday against UT-Martin for a 4 p.m. start.

For more from the Rebels’ weekend sweep of TCU, checkout Monday’s print edition of the Oxford EAGLE.

 (February 17, 2013)

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