Ole Miss shuts down UT-Martin; MSU stumbles at home

Published 11:30 am Thursday, February 20, 2014

 

Less than a week into the season, it appears all of Ole Miss’ pitchers are in midseason form.

Starter Jacob Waguespack allowed two hits over four innings, and five relievers threw one inning of shutout ball apiece as the Rebels beat Tennessee-Martin 6-0 Wednesday night in their home opener.

The Rebels improved to 4-0 with their fourth consecutive dominant pitching performance. Fifteen pitchers have seen time on the mound so far this season, and they’ve combined to allow just three earned runs while striking out 31 batters in 36 innings.

Although the pitching has been great, Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco was less enthused about his team’s hitting Wednesday night.

The Rebels only scored one run in the first six innings, on a bases-loaded wild pitch in the bottom of the third. They got another on a balk in the seventh, then finally exploded for four runs in the bottom of the eighth to blow the game open.

Auston Bousfield had an RBI single, stole a base, and scored a run to key the eighth-inning rally.

“It’s nice to win, but at this point we didn’t play very well,” Bianco said. “We certainly didn’t play anywhere close to the way we did this past weekend. We looked a little nervous. One of the things we worried about at the beginning of the season, and we challenged the guys about, was to not play like we did tonight. This past weekend we swung freely and looked aggressive on the mound. Today, we looked a little more tentative at the plate.”

Memphis 6, Mississippi State 4

Memphis took advantage of three Mississippi State errors to overcome a four-run deficit, and stormed back in the later innings to beat the Bulldogs in Starkville. Memphis scored twice in the seventh inning and three times in the top of the ninth to win.

Memphis’ winning rally included an infield single by Jake Little and a fielding error that eventually led to Little scoring the go-ahead run. Mississippi State (2-2) put the tying run on base in the bottom of the ninth, but C.T. Bradford was caught stealing second and Demarcus Henderson struck out to end the game.

Kane Barrow went 3-for-4 with two runs scored for Memphis, and Ethan Gross drove in two runs.

For Mississippi State, Cody Brown had two RBIs and scored a run, Alex Detz went 2-for-5 with an RBI, and Henderson had three stolen bases and scored a run.

“Our kids just ran away from who we are,” MSU coach John Cohen said. “Our identity is pitching and defense. I thought we pitched it pretty well. We did not defend the field well.”

 LSU 7, SE Louisiana 3

Conner Hale had three hits, Jared Foster went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs, and LSU used a four-run sixth inning to slide past Southeastern Louisiana (2-2).

The score was tied 2-2 when LSU (4-0) took advantage of a series of missteps by Southeastern Louisiana to take the lead for good. The Tigers loaded the bases on a walk, hit batsman and a single by Hale. Two runs scored on a wild pitch and error, and another on a balk. Christian Ibarra scored the other run on a single by Foster.

Oklahoma State 16, Alcorn State 1

Tanner Krietemeier hit a two-run home run during a six-run third inning, then Oklahoma State (5-0) added seven more in the fifth inning and went on to rout Alcorn State (0-5).

Six of Oklahoma State’s 11 hits went for extra bases. Bryan Case was 2-for-2 with a double, three RBIs and three runs scored, and Donnie Walton doubled twice, drove in two runs and scored two.

Oklahoma State outscored Alcorn 33-5 in the two-game midweek series in Stillwater, Okla.