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Saturday, October 25, 2014

No. 6 Rebs can’t hold on to take series from Aggies

BLOG: For the second day in a row, the No. 6 Ole Miss baseball team will hope to get a game in under an overcast sky.

The expected start for tonight’s game against Texas A&M is set for 7:30 p.m. The game can be seen nationally on ESPNU.

After being rained out Saturday, the No. 6 Rebels (21-2 overall, 3-1 SEC) and Aggies (15-8, 3-1) will attempt to get two seven-inning games in today despite another overcast and slightly damp day in Oxford.

 Friday night, the Rebels got the three-game set started right with an 8-2 victory over the visiting Aggies. The loss was Texas A&M’s first league defeat as a member of the Southeastern Conference (A&M swept Georgia last weekend).

In Game 1, Wahl allowed two runs (one earned) in a career-long eight innings while striking out a season-high nine. Head coach Mike Bianco said Wahl lobbied to come back out in the ninth, but they opted to send reliever Aaron Greenwood out to finish the game.

“He did. He’ll get a complete game or two once it’s said and done, but with a six-run lead we have enough people,” Bianco said.

THE M&M BOYS: Going for Ole Miss in the first end of the doubleheader will be junior right-hander Mike Mayers (on Mike Mayers mask night, no less!). The Ohioan is 2-1 on the year with a 2.79 ERA. In 29.0 innings, Mayers has struck out 25 against 11 walks and has held the opposition to a .216 batting average. Mayers would probably like to bounce back from last week’s rough start at then-No. 15 Arkansas, where he allowed a career-high seven runs (five earned) on three walks and nine hits in 5.1 innings. He also struck out five in the loss.

Taking the mound for Texas A&M will be sophomore Daniel Mengden. The right-hander is 3-1 on the year with a 1.82 ERA. Like last night’s starter, Kyle Martin, Mengden has a sparking strikeout-to-walk ratio of 32-to-5 in 34.2 innings. He has also held opponents to a .193 batting average.

Mengden’s SEC debut against Georgia was rather stellar as he struck out eight (for the third time this season) against zero walks (also, for the third time) in eight innings. Despite allowing just one run, Mengden earned a no-decision against the Dawgs.

PROJECTED GAME 2 STARTERS: In the second game, Ole Miss is expected to send sophomore right-hander Sam Smith to the mound. With fellow sophomore RHP Chris Ellis sidelined by a nagging abdominal injury, Smith has filled in more than admirably. In five starts this season, Smith is 2-0 with a 2.49 ERA. Smith also has a 13-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio this season and has held batters to a .273 batting average. Last week in Fayetteville, Ark., Smith allowed one run on three hits and one walk in five innings, paving the way for the Rebels to earn a 6-4 win in 13 innings. While Ellis won’t start, Bianco said earlier in the week — prior to the rain, at least — that he would like to see the Birmingham, Ala. native throw an inning or two in relief.

Taking the mound for the Aggies in Game 2 will be Jason Freeman, making his second start of the season. Freeman is 1-0 on the year with a 1.23 ERA, In 14.2 innings, the sophomore right-hander has struck out 14, walked six and held opponents to a .236 batting average. Freeman made his first career start last week, allowing two unearned runs on six hits and one walk in 4.2 innings against Georgia. He also struck out two and threw 83 pitches.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, BASEBALL: Weather permitting, the Rebels will be televised on national television for the first time this season on ESPNU. Ole Miss is scheduled to be televised 10 more times. On tonight’s broadcast, Bianco said it’s always nice to get the opportunity to showcase the facility, fans and what Ole Miss has built that transcends just the physical Oxford-University Stadium.

“I’m assuming the kids know but they may not know, it’s not something we talk about or publicize,” Bianco said. “As a program, for ESPN to be here and the first SEC game on television, ESPN wants to be here because of the crowds and stadium and so it’s nice to be able to showcase your program on national television.”

——— AROUND THE LEAGUE ———

Friday’s Results
Ole Miss 8 Texas A&M 2
Mississippi State 8, Kentucky 4
LSU 9, Auburn 4
Florida 7, Vanderbilt 1
Arkansas 15, South Carolina 3
Alabama 6, Georgia 3
Tennessee 4, Missouri 0 

Satuday’s Results
Texas A&M at Ole Miss, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU) (POSTPONED) 
Kentucky 3, Mississippi State 2
Kentucky 4, Mississippi State 3 (Moved from 3/24)
Vanderbilt 6, Florida 1
LSU 5, Auburn 1
Arkansas 4, South Carolina 2
Alabama 6, Georgia 3
Tennessee 7, Missouri 6
Missouri 14, Tennessee 6 (Moved from 3/24)

Sunday’s Games
Texas A&M at Ole Miss, 1:30 p.m.
Mississippi State at Kentucky, noon
Florida at Vanderbilt, noon
Arkansas at South Carolina, 12:30 p.m.
Missouri at Tennessee, 1 p.m.
Alabama at Georgia, 1 p.m.
Auburn at LSU, 1 p.m. (COX)

——— GAME 2 STARTERS ———

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (15-8, 3-1)
SS Mikey Reynolds (.440 BA/.485 OBP/.495 SLG)
CF Krey Bratsen (.262/.333/.287)
3B Blake Allemand (.232/.384/.333)
C Mitchell Nau (.268/.333/.393)
1B Cole Lankford (.325/.350/.506)
LF Jonathan Moroney (.304/.324/.420)
DH Troy Stein (.279/.323/.361)
2B Charlie Curl (.194/.282/.258)
RF Jace Statum (.308/.449/.359)
RHP Daniel Mengden (3-1, 1.82 ERA, .193 B/Avg.)

No. 6 OLE MISS REBELS (21-2, 3-1)
LF Tanner Mathis (.262/.386/.274)
CF Auston Bousfield (.330/.394/.464)
SS Austin Anderson (.330/.402/.432)
C Stuart Turner (.481/.511/.709)
3B Andrew Mistone (.278/.372/.342)
1B Sikes Orvis (.235/.342/.338)
DH Will Allen (.264/.286/.322)
RF Will Jamison (.267/.418/.367)
2B Preston Overbey (.329/.346/.461)
RHP Mike Mayers (2-1, 2.79, .216)

 ———GAME 2 SCORING SUMMARY— — —

TEXAS A&M 1, Ole Miss 0 (Top 1): Ole Miss starter Mike Mayers got off to a rough start,  allowing two walks and hitting a third batter in the top of the first. Third baseman Blake Allemand scored shortstop Mikey Reynolds from second on a perfectly executed hit and run.

TEXAS A&M 2, Ole Miss 0 (Top 3): Aggie catcher Mitchell Nau extended his team’s lead to 2-0 with a solo homer over the left field wall with two outs.

Texas A&M 2, OLE MISS 1 (Bottom 4): Ole Miss catcher Stuart Turner extended his hitting streak to 19 games in the fourth — and split the Aggies’ lead — with a solo homer into the Rebels’ bullpen. The homer was Turner’s third of the season.

FINAL SCORE: Texas A&M 2, Ole Miss 1.

HOW THE GAME WAS WON: Despite struggling early, Mayers settled in to give the Rebels a chance in Game 2. Unfortunately for the Rebels, the offense couldn’t muster much against Aggie starter Daniel Mengden and closer Jason Jester. … Orvis was the only Rebel to have multiple hits with three.

——— GAME 3 STARTERS ———

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (16-8, 4-1)
SS Mikey Reynolds (.430 BA/.486 OBP/.484 SLG)
CF Krey Bratsen (.253/.323/.277)
3B Allemand (.225/.382/.324)
DH Mitchell Nau (.288/.348/.458)
1B Cole Lankford (.325/.349/.500)
LF Jonathan Moroney (.296/.325/.408)
C Troy Stein (.286/.338/.365)
RF Brandon Wood (.000/.333/.000)
2B Charlie Curl (.203/.288/.266)
RHP Jason Freeman (1-0, 1.23 ERA, .236)

No. 6 OLE MISS REBELS (21-3, 3-2)
LF Tanner Mathis (.250/.371/.261)
CF Auston Bousfield (.323/.393/.455)
SS Austin Anderson (.319/.390/.418)
C Stuart Turner (.476/.505/.732)
3B Andrew Mistone (.280/.371/.341)
1B Sikes Orvis (.268/.366/.366)
DH Will Allen (.256/.277/.311)
RF Will Jamison (.258/.407/.355)
2B Preston Overbey (.329/.346/.468)
RHP Sam Smith (2-0, 2.49/.273)

———GAME 3 SCORING SUMMARY———

OLE MISS 5, Texas A&M 0 (Bottom 1): Ole Miss took its first lead of the day in the bottom of the first. After center fielder Auston Bousfield walks and stole second he was singled home by shortstop Austin Anderson. The inning did’t get any better for the Aggies after that as Ole Miss scored a run on an RBI-single by third baseman Andre Mistone and another two runs on a single to right by right fielder Will Jamison. Allen then came around to score when first baseman Cole Lankford cut off the throw from right field and tried to gun Jamison at second. The throw bounced into the outfield, allowing Allen to score. Aggie starter Jason Freeman recorded just one out before being pulled for reliever Parker Ray.

Ole Miss 5, TEXAS A&M 2 (Top 2): The Aggies got back on the scoreboard, plating two runs on a triple by Troy Stein and a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by Brandon Wood.

TEXAS A&M 5, Ole Miss 5 (Top 5): The Aggies got back into the game in a big way in the fifth as the first four batters of the frame reached base safely and the visitors eventually scored three runs on an RBI-single by Mikey Reynolds, a sacrifice fly by Krey Bratsen and a squeeze bunt by Blake Allemand.

TEXAS A&M 9, Ole Miss 5 (Top 6): Texas A&M continued to jump on the Rebels in the sixth, plating four runs on four hits and two walks.

TEXAS A&M 10, Ole Miss 5 (Top 7): The Aggies finished their scoring in the seventh on an RBI-single from Stein.

Texas A&M 10, Ole Miss 6 (Bottom 7): Pinch hitter Holt Perdzock made the most of his only at-bat in the seventh, singling through the right side to score Anderson from second. Ole Miss designated hitter Will Allen struck out in the next at-bat to end the game.

FINAL: Texas A&M 10, No. 6 Ole Miss 6

HOW THE GAME WAS WON: Ole Miss lost its first series of the weekend after being unable to hold onto an early 5-0 lead in Game 2 of Sunday’s doubleheader. Chris Ellis, making his first appearance since facing TCU the opening weekend, was hit with the loss, allowing four runs on three hits and two walks in one inning in relief. Sam Smith made the start for the Rebels but didn’t fare much better, allowing four run on five hits and one walk in four innings. … Aggie reliever Matt Kent improved to 2-1 on the year. The lefty pitched five shutout innings after Jason Freeman and Parker Ray combined to allow five runs in the first. … Ole Miss catcher Stuart Turner went hitless, going 0-for-3 with a walk, to snap his team-high hitting streak at 19 games. …Anderson went 2-for-4 with two runs and one RBI. … Stein and Brandon Wood each had three hits for the Aggies. … Ole Miss returns to the diamond Wednesday for a 6:30 p.m. faceoff against Arkansas State before hitting the road next weekend for Florida.

HE SAID IT: “That was disappointing. We go up five and they bring Kent in and it really looks like it’s going to be our day. But he just holds us at bay with breaking balls and changeups and really for a couple innings he didn’t throw many fastballs, maybe one or two. We really just didn’t make an adjustment after that.” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco on the 10-6 loss.

 (March 24, 2013)

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