Rebels are superPublished 10:32am Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Ole Miss in super regionals for first time since 2009
Ole Miss waited out a nearly two-hour rain delay and went toe-to-toe with Washington for 10 innings to earn a win Monday.
Some things are worth waiting for.
Sike Orvis ripped an RBI triple down the right field line in the top of the 10th inning to give the Rebels the lead, and they went on to beat Washington 3-2 for the championship of the NCAA Tournament’s Oxford Regional.
The victory clinched Ole Miss’ fifth trip in 10 years to the super regional round, but first since 2009. It’ll play at Louisiana-Lafayette in a best-of-three series starting Saturday night.
“We feel fortunate, but I’m very proud of these guys that played so hard all year long. We have won all different types of games and we had to do that this week,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said.
Ole Miss (44-18) went a perfect 3-0 in the regional, but the last two wins — both over Washington — were as tough as it gets.
The Rebels won 2-1 on Sunday, then had to face the Huskies (41-17-1) again after Washington won an elimination game over Georgia Tech on Sunday night.
Washington, which at one point this season climbed as high as No. 5 in one national poll, only allowed seven runs in its four regional games. It didn’t have an answer for Ole Miss, though. Both of the Huskies’ losses in the double-elimination regional came at the hands of the Rebels.
Washington — which still would have needed to beat Ole Miss again later Monday to win the regional — stranded the go-ahead runs in scoring position in the eighth and ninth innings, and had a runner on first in the 10th.
“We just needed one more darn hit,” Washington coach Lindsay Meggs said.
Freshman Colby Bortles hit a solo home run and an RBI double for Ole Miss, but Washington scored a pair of unearned runs to keep the game tied 2-2 after six innings.
Rain started to fall in the top of the seventh, causing the long delay.
Ole Miss reliever Scott Weathersby had entered the game in the fifth inning, and stayed in after the delay. He wound up throwing 5 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out six, and giving up two hits and two walks.
“It wasn’t that bad,” Weathersby said of staying loose during the rain delay. “Josh Porter, our trainer, did an awesome job. He had a heat pad on me. He was with me the whole time, stretching me and talking me through it.”
A slew of Washington pitchers — Meggs used five in the game — matched Weathersby until the top of the 10th inning.
Will Allen drew a two-out walk, and Meggs went to his bullpen again, replacing Alex Nesbitt with Trevor Dunlap.
Orvis then ripped a hard grounder just inside the first base bag. As right fielder Kyle London approached the ball, it caromed off the wall and into the corner. Allen scored from first without a play, and Orvis ended up on third with the go-ahead triple.
“I was trying to drive something, trying to get the game going. He threw something over the plate, and I kind of rolled over it, but it swept down the line,” said Orvis, the regional’s Most Valuable Player. “It couldn’t have been a better time for my first triple of the year. I had one last year. Something has to happen for me to get a triple.”
Weathersby issued a walk to pinch-hitter Jack Meggs in the bottom of the 10th inning, but the runner never got past first base.
Weathersby got Branden Berry to fly out to left field, then struck out Trevor Mitsui for the final out.
“I came to the 2009 regional and I saw these guys play, and it was always a dream of mine to play here. To get the last out to win a regional, it’s more than I can ask for,” Weathersby said.
Ole Miss at. La.-Lafayette
Saturday: 7 p.m.
Sunday: 8 p.m.
Monday: 6 p.m., if necessary
TV: All games on ESPN2
Radio: All games on 1490 AM