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Thursday, November 20, 2014

No. 17 Rebels drop third SEC series with 2-1 loss to No. 2 ‘Dores

BLOG: For the first time this season, the No. 17 Rebels will look to rebound from a Friday loss.

After losing to No. 2 Vanderbilt 3-1 last night, Ole Miss will look to rebound Saturday with a 4 p.m. 

Ole Miss had its chances on Friday; the Rebels worked four walks and six total hits but left nine base runners stranded.

“It was one of those Friday night wars where two aces are locked up and I thought both guys, (Kevin) Ziomek and of course Bobby (Wahl), both pitched great. I’m just disappointed we didn’t do enough to win the game,” Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said post-game. “When I say that, I don’t mean it as just a general statement; there’s a couple of instances throughout the game, a couple plays where if we do things differently both offensively and defensively we have a much better shot to win the game at the end. The moral is at the end we didn’t. They did a little more than we did.”

Vanderbilt scored its first run, to tie the game 1-1 in the fifth, on a delayed double steal where Conrad Gregor purposefully got caught in a rundown between first and second, allowing Xavier Turner to score from third without a throw.

“It’s frustrating. I didn’t take off the first-and-third play with two strikes on Harrell, which a lot of times we will. That’s the play but a lot of times we take it off with two strikes; maybe we should have, but then we don’t execute that defense,” Bianco said. “The play is to go after the runner, but we don’t. We catch the ball, check the runner at third and then go after him and it screws up the timing of the play. Christian actually ends up running past him but he did exactly what he was supposed to do. We screwed it up in the middle of the infield.”

ON THE MOUND: Ole Miss will go with usual Saturday starter Mike Mayers (2-3, 3.35 ERA). The junior is coming off of a rough outing at Florida where he allowed a six runs (four earned) on nine hits and one walk in 5.1 innings. Mayers also struck out a season-low one batter against Florida. On the season, Mayers has struck out 29 against 15 walks in 40.1 innings. He’s also allowing opponents to hit a healthy .250 off of him.

Vanderbilt will counter with sophomore phenom Tyler Beede. The right-hander has been one of the elite pitchers in the SEC this season, with an eye-catching .99 ERA and a .151 opponents batting average. In 45.2 innings, Beede has struck out 44, but walked an SEC-worst 31. Against Tennessee last weekend, Beede allowed two runs in 7.1 innings with five walks and a season-high nine strikeouts. 

——— AROUND THE LEAGUE———

FRIDAY’S RESULTS
Vanderbilt 3, Ole Miss 1
Mississippi State 7, Florida 3
LSU 11, Kentucky 1
South Carolina 5, Tennessee 4
Missouri 4, Georgia 0
Arkansas 6, Alabama 0
Auburn 6, Texas A&M 4 (10 inn.)

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 (27-4 overall, 9-1 SEC)
2B Tony Kemp (.376 BA/.483 OBP/.496)
3B Xavier Turner (.333/.455/.362)
1B Conrad Gregor (.257/.411/.347)
CF Connor Harrell (.284/.415/.514)
RF Mike Yastrzemski (.294/.388/.450)
SS Vince Conde (.302/.390/.491)
DH Kevin Ziomek (.000/.000/.000)
C Spencer Navin (.282/.453/.324)
LF Jack Lupo (.281/.368/.303)
RHP Tyler Beede (7-0, 0.99 ERA, .151 B/avg.)

No. 17 OLE MISS REBELS (23-7, 4-6)
CF Auston Bousfield (.298/.368/.405)
LF Tanner Mathis (.243/.386/.262)
SS Austin Anderson (.319/.389/.407)
C Stuart Turner (.406/.459/.614)
3B Andrew Mistone (.272/.353/.320)
1B Sikes Orvis (.256/.333/.333)
DH Will Allen (.259/.299/.315)
2B Preston Overbey (.303)/.330/.424)
RF Will Jamison (.233/.396/.315)
RHP Mike Mayers (2-3, 3.35 ERA, .250)

——— SCORING SUMMARY ——— 

VANDERBILT 1, Ole Miss 0 (Top 3): With two on and one out, Vanderbilt center field Connor Harrell singled to left field, scoring second baseman Tony Kemp easily from second. Ole Miss starter Mike Mayers would load the bases with a walk two batters later, but struck out DH Kyle Smith looking to end the limit the damage.

VANDERBILT 2, Ole Miss 0 (Top 5): Right fielder Mike Yastrzemski extended Vanderbilt’s lead to 2-0 with a single through the right side, scoring first baseman Conrad Gregor from third. Gregor led off the fifth with a single to right and took second when the ball skipped under the glove of right fielder Will Jamison.

Vanderbilt 2, OLE MISS 1 (Bottom 6): The Rebels finally got to VU starter Tyler Beede in the bottom of the sixth. After shortstop Austin Anderson walked to lead off the frame, he advanced to second on a groundout, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a two-out single up the middle by first baseman Sikes Orvis.

HOW THE GAME WAS WON: Sort of a carbon copy of Friday’s game, the Rebels had opportunities to at least tie the game late but were unable to pounce. In the seventh inning, center fielder Auston Bousfield worked a two-out walk against reliever Carson Fulmer, and took second on an errant pickoff move but left fielder Tanner Mathis struck out looking to end Ole Miss’ final chance offensively. Fulmer, Jared Miller and Brian Miller combined to retire the next six Rebel batters in order to secure the weekend series. The loss marks the third consecutive SEC series Ole Miss has dropped.

On one hand, the Rebels have played the No. 2 team in the country down to the wire in back-to-back games and have lost by a total of three runs. The Rebels weren’t looking at it that way, however. With both games within grasp, Ole Miss was once again pretty disappointed it was unable to come away with runs when they had opportunities.

BY THE NUMBERS: Mayers fell to 2-4 on the year after allowing two runs (one earned) in 4.2 innings on six hits, and a career-high six walks. Mayers also struck out five. … Chris Ellis was much improved, allowing three hits against two strikeouts in 1.2 innings, while Aaron Greenwood allowed just one hit in 2.2 innings while also striking out three. … Beede, who Orvis termed “effectively wild,” improved to 8-0 on the year after allowing one run on four hits and five walks in six innings. Beede also struck out six. … Brian Miller retired the final two batters of the game to earn his 10th save of the season. … Orvis led Ole Miss with a 2-for-2 showing, which also included a walk. … Kemp had a game-high three hits, while Gregor and Yastrzemski each had two hits.

Game 3 is set for 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. The Rebels will send right-handed sophomore Sam Smith (2-0, 3.51) to the mound. Vanderbilt’s starter has yet to be announced.

 (April 6, 2013)

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