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Sunday, May 24, 2015

No. 8 Rebs knock around Rams despite Wahl’s struggles

VIDEO BLOG: The No. 8 Ole Miss Rebels lead will look to push their undefeated mark this weekend against the visiting Rhode Island Rams.

Today’s game is set for a 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s games are set for 1:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. starts.

The Rams come to Oxford after being swept at Florida State last weekend. Tonight’s starter, right-hander Mike Bradstreet, allowed six earned in 3.1 innings against the Seminoles.

The Rams were outscored 25-13 but did push Sunday’s game to 10 innings before losing 8-6.

“They’re a team that is used to doing this. They’re a team that went to Florida State and a team that has been in a regional,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said about Rhode Island on Wednesday. “I don’t think, like some teams that come down here for the first time, that they’re going to be wowed or intimidated. I think they’re they’re going to be a solid team that does a lot of things well. One of the reasons we scheduled them is they’re a Northern team that we think will come down here and really compete.”

Taking the mound for Ole Miss will be junior ace Bobby Wahl. The reigning Southeastern Conference Player of the Week picked up the win in Ole Miss’ season opener against then-No. 14 TCU by pitching 6.1 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts.

GIVING SECOND A CHANCE: One of the bigger story lines (as far as Ole Miss is concerned…) this weekend is how junior Preston Overbey performs at second base. Overbey was recruited as a third baseman and has played all over the diamond, from third to first to left field to right field and has even caught behind the plate. Wednesday, Overbey made his debut at second and played well, recording three assists and a putout.

GATLIN UPDATE: Following Wednesday’s game, Bianco gave an update on senior infielder John Gatlin, who has been out due to a shoulder injury.

“He’s limited in his range but balls right at him he’s good,” Bianco said. “He has been playing catch for a while and he’s coming along.”

Bianco said the main issue is Gatlin’s range of motion and that it’s not a pain thresh hold that’s keeping him off the field.

“Can’t reach for a backhand yet and he’s alright this way but he can only go so high up,” Bianco said.

As of Wednesday, Gatlin still had no timetable for his return.


Friday’s Games 
Rhode Island at Ole Miss, 4 p.m.
Purdue at Mississippi State, 6 p.m.
Elon vs. Kentucky, 11 a.m.
Albany at South Carolina, 2 p.m.
Evansville at Arkansas, 3:05 p.m.
Missouri at Memphis, 4 p.m.
Arizona State at Tennessee, 4 p.m.
Belmont at Georgia, 4 p.m.
Monmouth at Vanderbilt, 4 p.m.
Alabama at Florida Atlantic, 5:30 p.m.
Middle Tennessee at Auburn, 6 p.m.
Florida Gulf Coast at Florida, 6 p.m.
Pepperdine at Texas A&M, 6:35 p.m.
Southeastern Louisiana at LSU, 7 p.m. (COX)

Saturday’s Games
Rhode Island at Ole Miss, 1 p.m.
Samford at Mississippi State, 3 p.m.
Purdue at Mississippi State, 6 p.m.
Arizona State at Tennessee, noon
Albany at South Carolina, 12:30 p.m.
College of Charleston at Auburn, 1 p.m.
Evansville at Arkansas, 1:05 p.m.
Missouri at Memphis, 2 p.m.
Kentucky at Coastal Carolina, 2 p.m.
Monmouth at Vanderbilt, 2 p.m.
Pepperdine at Texas A&M, 2:05 p.m.
Alabama at Florida Atlantic, 3 p.m.
Belmont at Georgia, 3 p.m.
Florida Gulf Coast at Florida, 3 p.m.
BYU at LSU, 6 p.m.

Sunday’s Games 
Rhode Island at Ole Miss, 1:30 p.m.
Samford at Mississippi State, 2:30 p.m.
Arizona State at Tennessee, noon
Alabama at Florida Atlantic, noon
Florida Gulf Coast at Florida, noon (FSFL)
Albany at South Carolina, 12:30 p.m.
Missouri at Memphis, 1 p.m.
Belmont at Georgia, 1 p.m.
Monmouth at Vanderbilt, 1 p.m.
Evansville at Arkansas, 1:05 p.m.
Pepperdine at Texas A&M, 1:05 p.m.
Indiana State at Auburn, 2 p.m.


RHODE ISLAND RAMS (0-3 overall)
CF Jeff Roy
2B Joe Landi
3B Mike LeBel
DH Pat Quinn
1B Pat Fortunato
RF Kevin Stenhouse
C Shane O’Connell
LF Chris Famiglietti
SS Tim Caputo
RHP Mike Bradstreet

No. 8 OLE MISS REBELS (4-0 overall)
LF Tanner Mathis
SS Austin Anderson
CF Auston Bousfield
C Stuart Turner
1B Sikes Orvis
DH Will Allen
3B Andrew Mistone
RF Will Jamison
2B Preston Overbey
RHP Bobby Wahl


OLE MISS 5, Rhode Island 0 (Bottom 1): Ole Miss didn’t waste any time making a statement Friday, plating five runs in the first inning against Rams starter Mike Bradstreet. In the frame, Austin Anderson, Stuart Turner and Andrew Mistone drove in one run apiece, while Will Jamison capped the frame’s scoring with a two-run double.

Ole Miss 5, RHODE ISLAND 1 (Top 2): After cruising through the first inning, Ole Miss ace Bobby Wahl struggled mightily in the second and and walked in a run on his third consecutive free pass.

OLE MISS 7, Rhode Island 1 (Bottom 2): An RBI-triple by Auston Bousfield that scored Mathis and a groundout by Turner pushed Ole Miss’ lead to 7-1.

OLE MISS 8, Rhode Island 1 (Bottom 3): Jamison drove in his third run of the game in the third to push Ole Miss’ lead to 8-1.

FINAL SCORE: No. 8 Ole Miss 8, Rhode Island 1.

HOW THE GAME WAS WON: After putting up a five-spot in the first it would have made sense to think the Rebels were going to cruise past Rhode Island. While that’s true, it wasn’t exactly a clean game as Rebel ace Bobby Wahl walked a career-high six and Ole Miss ended up allowing nine “free” baserunners (as head coach Mike Bianco put it) on seven walks, a hit-by-pitch and an error.

Despite his struggles, Wahl earned the win to improve to 2-0 after allowing one run in five innings. The junior also struck out four.

Josh Laxer allowed one walk and one hit against one strikeout in three scoreless innings in relief, and southpaw Jeremy Massie pitched a scoreless ninth for his second appearance of the season.

Rhode Island right-hander Mike Bradstreet was hit with the loss after giving up eight runs on 12 hits and two walks in seven innings.

Anderson, Bousfield, Allen, Mistone and Jamison each had two hits for Ole Miss. Jamison also drove in a career-high three runs.

NEXT UP: Ole Miss and Rhode Island will face off for Game 2 at Oxford-University Stadium on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

PARTING VIEW: Wahl discusses his struggles below:

For more on the weekend series, pick up a print edition of Monday’s Oxford EAGLE. (February 22, 2013)

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