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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Bianco becomes Rebs’ winningest coach with 8-5 victory

VIDEO BLOG: The No. 7 Rebels will look to make skipper Mike Bianco the winningest coach in program history today at 1:30 p.m. when they host Lipscomb for the second game of a three-game series.

Friday, Ole Miss clobbered the Bisons early to claim a 10-1 victory. With the win, Bianco tied Ole Miss legend and All-American Jake Gibbs in the school’s record book with 485.

Due to the possibility of rain, Sunday’s series finale between Ole Miss and Lipscomb has been bumped up to a noon start.

GETTING THE START: Taking the mound for Ole Miss will be junior right-hander Mike Mayers. The Ohioan is 1-0 in three starts with a 2.04 ERA. In 17.2 innings, Mayers has struck out 13 against seven walks and is limiting the opposition to just a .197 batting average. Mayers is coming off of his best start of the season; at Florida International, Mayers allowed two runs in a season-long seven innings on six hits. He also struck out a season-high six and did not walk anyone.

Lipscomb will turn to Davey Hackett. The right-hander is 1-2 on the year with a 5.68 ERA. In 12.2 innings, Hackett has struck out five and walked nine; opponents are hitting .373 off Hackett.

OUT FOR THE YEAR: In case you missed it, news broke yesterday that Ole Miss senior infielder John Gatlin will be out for the year after fracturing his left foot. Gatlin just can’t seem to catch a break; the senior had been rehabbing from a dislocated left shoulder and seemed to be inching closer to returning to the diamond. Last season, Gatlin was used mostly as a reserve to start the season and progressively earned more playing time as the year went along. He ended up hitting .255 with a .397 on-base percentage in 28 games. Prior to this season, Gatlin seemed to be hitting the ball well and looked like his bat might help him earn significant playing time as at least a super utility player before Preston Overbey emerged as the everyday second baseman.

Below is a brief Q-and-A with the Tupelo native on his status and what’s ahead:

Q: Update on the foot?
A: I was actually back for the first time taking in and out with the team (Wednesday) and pretty common fracture in my foot jogging around. I felt like I stepped on a rock. It didn’t get any better and swelled up pretty big. I went and  got an X-ray and it’s a fracture on the left side of my left foot. I’m getting a screw put in Wednesday.

Q: Any kind of timetable with the foot?
A: The timetable for the foot is usually four months give or take, it could be longer because it’s a bone that doesn’t heal so you have to have that screw put in and get blood flow and all that stuff down there. Right now the plan is surgery on Wednesday for the foot and in about four weeks when I don’t have to be on crutches any more, I can get surgery on the shoulder.

Q: So, you were jogging around and noticed it then?
A: Yeah, I kind of felt like I stepped on something. I looked around to see what it was and the pain never really went away.

Q: So, now you just kind of look to next year?
A: It is what it is. There’s nothing I can do about it. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be for me this year, so I just have to do everything I can to be a vocal leader and keep the guys spirits up and all that and focus on coming back next year with a lot of rehab this summer.

Q: Where are you academically?
A: I graduate in May. I talked to my advisor about it the other day and as of right now I can apply for grad school or start on another major; I’ll just make that decision later on.


Friday’s Results
Ole Miss 10, Lipscomb 1
Mississippi State 4, Central Arkansas 2
Vanderbilt 4, Oregon 1
South Carolina 2, Rider 1
Tennessee 16, Alcorn State 0
Georgia 12, Liberty 0
LSU 9, Washington 4
Kentucky 2, Michigan State 1
Arkansas 4, San Diego State 3
Auburn 9, Brown 4
Missouri 6, San Francisco 2
Texas A&M 6, Cal State Fullerton 1
Louisville 4, Alabama 3 (14 inn.)
Indiana 4, Florida 1 

Saturday’s Games
Lipscomb at Ole Miss, 1:30 p.m
Central Arkansas at Mississippi State, 2 p.m.
Alcorn State at Tennessee, 11 a.m.
San Diego State at Arkansas, 11:30 a.m.
Alabama at Louisville, noon Michigan State at Kentucky, 1 p.m.
Liberty at Georgia, 2 p.m.
San Francisco at Missouri, 2 p.m.
Brown at Auburn, 3 p.m.
Indiana at Florida, 3 p.m.
Rider at South Carolina, 3 p.m.
Vanderbilt at Oregon, 4 p.m.
Washington at LSU, 5:30 p.m.
Texas A&M at Cal State Fullerton, 8 p.m.

Sunday’s Games
Lipscomb at Ole Miss, 1:30 p.m.
Central Arkansas at Mississippi State, 6:30 p.m.
Alcorn State at Tennessee, 11 a.m.
Alabama at Louisville, noon
San Diego State at Arkansas, noon
Indiana at Florida, noon
Michigan State at Kentucky, noon
Rider at South Carolina, 12:30 p.m.
Liberty at Georgia, 1 p.m.
Brown at Auburn, 1 p.m.
Washington at LSU, 1 p.m.
San Francisco at Missouri, 1 p.m.
Texas A&M at Cal State Fullerton, 1:30 p.m.
Vanderbilt at Oregon, 2 p.m.


SS Joey Cecere (.333 BA/.448 OBP/.375 SLG)
LF Drew Adams (.234/.345/.383)
1B Griffin Moore (.263/.472/.474)
DH Aaron Sandoval (.400/.412/.480)
CF Zach Lowery (.328/.418/.552)
C Taylor Stewart (.357/.429/.429)
2B Noah Chandler (.300/.364/.400)
3B Gray Hutchinson (.222/.333/.315)
RF Lee Wilson (.194/.342/.258)
RHP Davey Hackett (1-2, 5.68 ERA, .373 O/BA)

No. 7 OLE MISS REBELS (14-1)
LF Tanner Mathis (.245/.355/.264)
CF Auston Bousfield (.328/.382/.393)
SS Austin Anderson (.377/.444/.509)
C Stuart Turner (.469/.517/.796)
3B Andrew Mistone (.318/.446/.386)
DH Sikes Orvis (.209/.320/.279)
1B Will Allen (.214/.224/.268)
RF Will Jamison (.265/.422/.353)
2B Preston Overbey (.298/.327/.383)
RHP Mike Mayers (1-0, 2.04, .197)


OLE MISS 2, Lipscomb 0 (Bottom 1): Ole Miss got a jump start on Friday night’s overpowering scoring effort in Game 2 by plating two runs in the bottom of the first. Shortstop Austin Anderson scored center fielder Auston Bousfield from second on a single through the right side. Anderson, after advancing to second on the ensuing throw, stole third and then scored on an infield single by catcher Stuart Turner.

OLE MISS 5, Lipscomb 0 (Bottom 3): The Rebs took advantage of two Bisons miscues in the third to extend their lead. With the bases loaded, Turner hit a ball to the left side of the infield. The ball was fielded by Lipscomb third baseman Gray Hutchinson, but second baseman Noah Chandler dropped the ball trying to turn a double play. Tanner Mathis and Bousfield scored on the blunder. Third baseman Andrew Mistone then hit a hard chopper to the left side that Hutchinson got a glove on but couldn’t handle, allowing Anderson to score.

OLE MISS 7, Lipscomb 0 (Bottom 5): Continuing the trend of scoring every other inning, the Rebels added to their advantage in the fifth courtesy of Bousfield’s first home run of the season. The center fielder sent the shot just over Ole Miss’ bullpen, scoring Mathis, who had walked to leadoff the frame.

OLE MISS 8, Lipscomb 0 (Bottom 6): Right fielder Will Jamison struck a one-out triple btween the left and center fielders and then scored on a single to shallow center by Preston Overbey to push Ole Miss’ lead to 8-0.

Ole Miss 8, LIPSCOMB 5 (Top 7): The Bisons got on the board in the seventh with Ole Miss starter Mike Mayers out of the game. Lipscomb jumped on Ole Miss southpaw Austin Blunt, loading the bases on a single, hit-by-pitch and walk. With just one out and the bases juiced, the Rebels turned to sophomore right-hander Scott Weathersby. The sophomore right-hander didn’t fare much better, allowing five runs on four singles with just one strikeout. Aaron Greenwood, Ole Miss’ third pitcher of the frame, got a fly ball to left to mercifully end the frame.

FINAL: No. 7 Ole Miss 8, Lipscomb 5.

HOW THE GAME WAS WON: Things got interesting again in the ninth as Ole Miss closer Brett Huber allowed a single and walk to open the frame. Huber clamped down after a brief visit from head coach Mike Bianco, retiring the next two batters on strikeouts looking and the inning’s fifth batter on a ground ball. The save was Huber’s sixth of the season. … Mike Mayers earned the win to improve to 2-0 on the season after throwing six scoreless innings. Mayers allowed one walk and one hit while striking out a season-high seven Bisons. … Lipscomb starter Davey Hackett allowed eight runs in 5.1 innings to get the loss. … Overbey continues to hit as a converted second baseman. The junior went 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Turner and Jamison also had two hits. … With win No. 486, Bianco passed Ole Miss legend Jake Gibbs as the program’s winningest coach.

PARTING VIEW: Below is a portion of the post-game interview with Bianco:

Ole Miss will go for its fourth consecutive weekend sweep Sunday. Due to the possibility of rain, the game has been bumped up to start at noon.

For more from Saturday’s game, checkout Monday’s print edition of the Oxford EAGLE. (March 9, 2013)

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