VDEO BLOG: No. 23 Ole Miss found its scoring touch this weekend with the visiting Alabama Crimson Tide at Oxford-University Stadium. After scoring nine total runs during their six-game skid, the Rebels plated 11 in two games against the Tide.
The two SEC West foes will wrap up the three-game set with a 1:30 p.m. start.
TAKING THE MOUND: Ole Miss will send Sam Smith (2-0, 4.40 ERA) to the mound to make his seventh start of the season. Smith is coming off of back-to-back SEC starts where he allowed four runs in four innings against Texas A&M on March 24 and four more in three innings against Vanderbilt last weekend.
On the season, Smith has allowed 35 hits, 14 earned runs and eight walks in 28.2 innings. He ale has 14 strikeouts but opponents are hitting .307 off the sophomore right-hander.
In three starts against SEC teams, Smith is 0-0 with a 6.75 ERA, surrendering three walks and 14 hits in 12 innings. SEC batters are hitting .318 off of Smith.
Alabama will counter with Spencer Turnbull (4-1, 2.22). The sophomore right-hander, normally Alabama’s Saturday starter, has been rather dominant for Alabama recently, allowing zero — ZERO — runs in 23 innings against Georgia (March 24), Auburn (March 30) and Arkansas (April 6). The week before against Tennessee, Turnbull allowed one run on nine hits and two walks in seven innings of a 15-1 victory. During his current three-game streak, Turnbull has allowed 14 hits and seven walks against 13 strikeouts.
Last season against Ole Miss, Turnbull allowed four runs on four hits while recording just two outs in the Rebels’ 8-4 win.
MLB DEBUT: As was leaked on Twitter yesterday, former Ole Miss pitcher Phil Irwin will make his major league debut today when his Pittsburgh Pirates face the Cincinnati Reds.
“He’s a real steady young man,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “Not too high, not too low.”
Irwin is starting in place of injured Pirates pitcher Wandy Rodriguez.
———AROUND THE LEAGUE———
Ole Miss 6, Alabama 0
Mississippi State 3, Texas A&M 2
LSU 6, Arkansas 2
Kentucky 5, Tennessee 4
Auburn 4, Georgia 3
Vanderbilt 11, Missouri 5
Florida 4, South Carolina 3
Ole Miss 5, Alabama 2
Mississippi State 9, Texas A&M 3
Auburn 8, Georgia 4
Georgia 7, Auburn 1
Vanderbilt 12, Missouri 1
Florida 14, South Carolina 5
Arkansas 8, LSU 3
Tennessee 10, Kentucky 9
Alabama at Ole Miss, 1:30 p.m.
Mississippi State at Texas A&M, 1 p.m.
Tennessee at Kentucky, noon
LSU at Arkansas, 1 p.m. (Cox)
Georgia at Auburn, 1 p.m.
Missouri at Vanderbilt, 1 p.m.
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (22-15 overall, 8-6 SEC)
CF Georgie Salem (.285 BA/.361 OBP/ .305 SLG)
3B Kenny Roberts (.258/.373/.326)
RF Ben Moore (.381/.375/.415)
C Brett Booth (.285/.396/.392)
2B Kyle Overstreet (.277/.360/.338)
1B Austen Smith (.252/.319/.366)
SS Mikey White (.241/.333/.263)
LF Andrew Miller (.200/.329/.229)
DH Chance Vincent (.161/.212/.161)
RHP Spencer Turnbull (4-1, 2.22 ERA)
No. 23 OLE MISS REBELS (25-10, 6-8)
LF Tanner Mathis (.220/.381/.244)
CF Auston Bousfield (.270/.357/.365)
SS Austin Anderson (.302/.397/.381)
C Stuart Turner (.408/.465/.592)
3B Andrew Mistone (.264/.338/.306)
1B Sikes Orvis (.272/.356/.340)
DH Will Allen (.266/.299/.352)
2B Preston Overbey (.272/.320/.377)
RF Will Jamison (.231/.404/.308)
RHP Sam Smith (2-0, 4.40)
OLE MISS 2, Alabama 0 (Bottom 1): Ole Miss broke Spencer Turnbull’s scoreless streak in a hurry Sunday, plating a run before he had recorded an out. After left fielder Tanner Mathis walked and center fielder Auston Bousfield singled, shortstop Austin Anderson scored Mathis on a single through the left side. Following a walk by catcher Stuart Turner, third baseman Andrew Mistone singled Bousfied home.
Ole Miss 2, ALABAMA 1 (Top 7): After five quiet innings, the Tide got one back on a groundout by Meridian native Kenny Roberts with relief pitcher Chris Ellis on the mound.
ALABAMA 3, Ole Miss 2 (Top 8): Alabama took its first lead of the weekend in the eighth, scoring two runs off reliever Aaron Greenwood to push ahead of the Rebels 3-2. Left fielder Andrew Miller tied the game 2-2 with a sacrifice fly to left. Designated hitter Chance Vincent then pushed Alabama ahead with an RBI-single up the middle.
OLE MISS 3, Alabama 3 (Bottom 8): Ole Miss retaliated, tying the game in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI-single by Mistone, scoring pinch hitter Holt Perdzock.
OLE MISS 4, Alabama 3 (Bottom 11): Ole Miss had a runner on third in the ninth but was unable to score pinch runner Cameron Dishon. In the 11th, the Rebels the Rebels loaded the bases with one out for Mathis. The senior, who has admittedly not been himself this season, made the most of his opportunity. Facing Tide reliever Ray Castillo, Mathis barreled a ball to left-center field, over the drawn in outfielders to score Tuscaloosa, Ala., native Lance Wilson from third. Wilson was pinch running for Ole Miss first baseman Sikes Orvis, who led off the frame with a single.
FINAL: No. 23 Ole Miss 4, Alabama 3 (11 inn.)
HOW THE GAME WAS WON: The 11th-inning paragraph above pretty much sums up how the game was won. Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco admitted the game wasn’t exactly the team’s best, when you factor in several errors and a few missed opportunities, but Ole Miss somehow found a way to pull out the win and its first SEC sweep of the season. … Ole Miss closer Brett Huber earned the win to improve to 3-1 on the season. Huber walked two in the top of the 11th but got got Alabama catcher Brett Booth to fly out to right to set up the bottom of the frame. … Castill took the loss, allowing two runs in 4.1 innings of relief work after Tide starter Spencer Turnbull was pulled after six innings. … Mathis and Mistone led the Rebels with two hits. … Austen Smith led Alabama with three hits while Georgie Salem, Roberts each had two.
INJURY UPDATE: Following the game, Bianco said shortstop Austin Anderson re-aggravated a preseason hamstring injury, which led to him being pulled after he committed a throwing error to lead off the second inning. Bianco said the injury didn’t seem too serious and that the shortstop is day-to-day.
PARTING VIEW: Below are post-game interviews with Wilson and Mathis:
BACK AT IT: Ole Miss will return to the diamond Monday, playing Memphis at AutoZone Park. Tuesday, the Rebels will head to Pearl to face in-state rival Southern Miss. Freshman Brady Bramlett will start against Memphis, while sophomore Josh Laxer will get the nod against USM.
(As always, be sure to check out Monday’s print edition of the Oxford EAGLE for a complete roundup of the weekend that was.) (April 14, 2013)