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Saturday, August 23, 2014

No. 17 Rebels drop Game 1 to No. 2 Vanderbilt

BLOG: Sometimes plans change. During Thursday’s practice at the Indoor Practice Facility, the No. 17 Rebels maintained that they weren’t going to overreact to back-to-back SEC losses with No. 2 Vanderbilt in town.

While the Rebels’ general approach may not be altered this weekend, their lineup will be.

For tonight’s 6:30 game against the Commodores, Ole Miss will have two new faces in the starting lineup.

Making his right field debut this season will be former second baseman Lance Wilson in place of sophomore Will Jamison. Likewise, freshman third baseman Christian Helsel will be making his first career start at first base in place of sophomore Sikes Orvis. The only other time Helsel has played first was March 17 in Ole Miss’ 6-3 victory at Arkansas in 13 innings.

In nine Southeastern Conference games, Orvis was hitting .258 with a .294 on-base percentage and a .355 slugging percentage. Jamison was hitting .136 in nine games with a .355 on-base percentage and a .182 slugging percentage. (Overall, Orvis is hitting .258/.337/.337 and Jamison is hitting .236/.400/.319.)

Both Helsel and Wilson have been used sparingly this season, not just in conference play, but overall. Helsel is 1-for-2 with a walk in three conference games while Wilson is 0-for-1 with one run scored and one walk.

DUELING ACES: Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature two of the top arms in the country with Ole Miss’ Bobby Wahl (6-0, 1.80 ERA) facing off against Vanderbilt left-hander Kevin Ziomek (5-1, 1.89).

Ziomek has struck out an SEC-best 62 against 15 walks in 52.1 innings while holding opponents to a .157 batting average. Of his seven starts, two have been complete games. The junior earned a no-decision last week against Tennessee after allowing three runs on six hits and one walk in seven innings. Ziomek struck out 10 — his fourth-highest total of the season, behind 15, 13 and 11 — in Vanderbilt’s 4-3 victory in 12 innings.

Like Ziomek, Wahl earned a no decision last week after allowing three runs (two earned) in 7.1 innings at Florida. Wahl only struck out one and walked two in Ole Miss’ 4-3 win in 11 innings.

EXTRA BASES: Ole Miss will be reverting to its previous rotation with Mike Mayers (2-3, 3.55) on Saturday and Sam Smith (2-0, 3.51) on Sunday. … Vanderbilt is visiting Ole Miss for the first time since 2008, when the Rebels swept the Commodores. … The ‘Dores closed out the 2012 season with a series sweep at home against Ole Miss. … This weekend is Armed Forces Weekend, honoring those who have served in our nation’s military. Tonight will feature a Survival Bracelet giveaway, while Saturday will feature free car magnets to fans. Sunday’s game will feature the second set of baseball cards for the 2013 season. … This weekend’s games will be broadcast on ESPN3.com. Eli Savoie & David Dellucci will be calling the action. Tonight’s game is set for 6:30. Saturday and Sunday’s games will begin at 4 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. respectively. … Ole Miss is wearing its camp hats against Vanderbilt.

——— AROUND THE LEAGUE———

FRIDAY’S GAMES
Vanderbilt at Ole Miss, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN3.com)
Florida at Mississippi State, 6:30 p.m.
South Carolina at Tennessee, 5 p.m.
Missouri at Georgia, 6 p.m.
Arkansas at Alabama, 6:30 p.m.
Auburn at Texas A&M, 6:30 p.m.
Kentucky at LSU, 7 p.m. (Cox)

SATURDAY’S GAMES
Vanderbilt at Ole Miss, 4 p.m. (ESPN3.com)
Florida at Mississippi State, 3 p.m. (CSS/Cox)
South Carolina at Tennessee, 11:30 a.m. (SportSouth)
Arkansas at Alabama, 1 p.m.
Auburn at Texas A&M, 2 p.m.
Kentucky at LSU, 6:30 p.m. (Cox)
Missouri at Georgia, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)

SUNDAY’S GAMES
Vanderbilt at Ole Miss, 1:30 p.m. (ESPN3.com)
Florida at Mississippi State, 1:30 p.m.
Kentucky at LSU, noon (CSS)
Missouri at Georgia, 1 p.m.
South Carolina at Tennessee, 1 p.m.
Auburn at Texas A&M, 1 p.m.

———STARTING LINEUPS———

No. 2 VANDERBILT COMMODORES (26-4 overall, 8-1 SEC)
2B Tony Kemp (.375 BA/ .386 OBP/.482 SLG)
3B Xavier Turner (.338/.458/.369)
1B Conrad Gregor (.263/.404/.354)
CF Connor Harrell (.286/.415/.524)
RF Mike Yastrzemski (.302/.388/.462)
SS Vince Conde (.304/.395/.490)
DH Tyler Beede (.000/.000/.000)
C Spencer Navin (.294/.473/.338)
LF Jack Lupo (.271/.363/.294)
LHP Kevin Ziomek (5-1, 1.89 ERA, .157 B/Avg.)

No. 17 OLE MISS REBELS (23-6, 4-5) 
LF Tanner Mathis (.248/.378/.267)
SS Austin Anderson (.321/.394/.413)
CF Auston Bousfield (.299/.371/.410)
C Stuart Turner (.418/.466/.633)
3B Andrew Mistone (.280/.362/.330)
2B Preston Overbey (.305/.333/.432)
DH Will Allen (.255/.289/.311)
1B Christian Helsel (.222/.364/.333)
RF Lance Wilson (.231/.333/.231)
RHP Bobby Wahl (6-0, 1.80)

——— SCORING SUMMARY ———

OLE MISS 1, Vanderbilt 0 (Bottom 3): Ole Miss shortstop Austin Anderson got the scoring started Friday with a full-count single to center field, scoring designated hitter Will Allen from second base.

VANDERBILT 1, Ole Miss 1 (Top 5): With VU third baseman Xavier Turner on third, VU first baseman Conrad Gregor purposefully got caught in a rundown between first and second, allowing Turner to score without a throw at the plate. Ole Miss ace Bobby Wahl struck out VU center fielder Connor Harrell on the next pitch to end the frame.

VANDERBILT 2, Ole Miss 1 (Top 8): A sacrifice fly to deep right field by catcher Spencer Navin scored right fielder Mike Yastrzemski from third to give Vanderbilt its first lead of the game.

VANDERBILT 3, Ole Miss 1 (Top 9): Vanderbilt tacked a run onto its lead in the ninth on an RBI-single through the left side by Harrell, scoring second baseman Tony Kemp from second.

HOW THE GAME WAS WON: Ole Miss had its chances both offensively and defensively but was unable to make enough plays to come away with the Friday night win. In the bottom of the ninth, the Rebels’ first two batters reached base on back-to-back singles but second baseman Jake Overbey was unable to get a bunt down and fouled out, pinch hitter Will Jamison flew out to center and left fielder Tanner Mathis grounded out to end the game.

BY THE NUMBERS: Vanderbilt starter Kevin Ziomek earned the win to improve to 6-1, allowing just one run in 7.1 innings on four walks and three hits. Ziomek, the SEC’s strikeout leader heading in, fanned just three Rebels. … Tanner Bailey fell to 1-1 on the year after allowing two runs in two relief innings. … Bobby Wahl earned a no decision after allowing one unearned run on five hits and a career-high six walks in 6.2 innings. Wahl also struck out eight. Anderson, center fielder Auston Bousfield, second baseman Preston Overbey, Allen, pinch hitter Holt Perdzock and first baseman Christian Helsel had Ole Miss’ six hits. … Kemp and left fielder Jack Lupo each had two hits for Vanderbilt.

Game 2 of the three-game series is set for 4 p.m. on Saturday. (April 5, 2013)

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