Rebels beat TCU in NCAA opener
Published 11:57 pm Friday, June 1, 2012
The upperclassmen set the table and a group of freshman finished things off in an eighth-inning rally as Ole Miss defeated TCU 6-2 in the opening game of NCAA Regional play at Texas A&M on Friday.
With the bases loaded in the eighth and the score knotted at two, freshman Auston Bousfield drew a full count walk to give Ole Miss its first lead of the game and Sikes Orvis followed it up with a two-RBI single up the middle as the Rebels claimed the win over the Horned Frogs.
Juniors Tanner Mathis and Alex Yarbrough, and senior Zach Kirksey all reached to load the bases with one out before the freshmen came up with the clutch plays to catapult the Rebels into the lead. Freshman catcher Austin Knight came up with the final RBI in the inning as Ole Miss plated four runs to grab the four-run lead.
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“We played really well today, and it started on the mound,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “Bobby Wahl gave us a great effort and got deep into the game. We were very clean defensively and R.J. Hively just did what he’s done for us the last half of the season over the last two innings.
“Tanner (Mathis) really kept the pressure on them all game,” Bianco said. “He got things going for us in both of our innings where we rallied. Two freshmen were clutch in that big inning for us to break the game open. Sikes (Orvis) has been tremendous and really getting good swings off for us.”
Wahl (7-3) picked up the win. He allowed two runs on four hits with nine strikeouts. He didn’t walk a batter in seven innings of work. Hively closed out the final two frames, allowing one hit with three strikeouts.
Brandon Finnegan (3-4) took the loss in relief for TCU (36-20). He allowed two runs on one hit with a walk in the eighth inning. He did not record an out. Starter Preston Morrison allowed two runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts through 61⁄3 innings and left the game with the score tied to take no decision.
Mathis and Yarbrough and Andrew Mistone all posted two hits on the afternoon to lead the Rebel offense at the plate.
TCU got on the board first, using back-to-back singles to open the home half of the inning and put men at the corners before Kevin Cron grounded out to first to bring the lead runner home. Ole Miss would then get a pop out and a strikeout to end the inning, but TCU held the 1-0 lead.