What happened vs. William & Mary: William & Mary staked a 4-0 lead, scoring four runs on four walks and two errors in the fifth. On the mound, sophomore left-hander Jason Inghram allowed just two runs for the Tribe, scattering eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
"They played very clean baseball," head coach Mike Bianco said. "Inghram just filled up the zone the whole day. They played error-free, made all the plays. They made all the pitches to get out of innings. We just had the one inning that we couldn't get out of, and that was basically the ball game. It was one certainly we thought that got away."
Junior right-hander Mike Mayers got the start of the mound for Ole Miss and allowed four runs on three hits with six walks and three strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work.
"I felt fine warming up," Mayers said. "I went out there and struggled to find my fastball command, obviously. And in that one inning, it didn't matter what I did. I tried a few things, tried to fix it up. As a veteran, it's my job to fix it up and figure out, and get out of that big inning."
Ole Miss got a run back in both the sixth and seventh innings. The Rebels threatened again in the ninth, bringing the would-be game-winning runner to the plate with runners at first and second, but junior catcher Stuart Turner flied out to left to end the game. Ole Miss was 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, leaving 10 runners on base.
"We didn't have a ton of runners in scoring position, but the few opportunities we did, we weren't able to keep the big hit, the big double," Bianco said. "A couple of times, a ground ball and a sac fly."
"We just weren't able to bunch enough hits."
Greenwood out of the bullpen:Junior right-hander Aaron Greenwood came on in relief for Mayers and worked four scoreless innings, giving up four hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
He and junior left-hander Jeremy Massie, who retired the last William & Mary batter, also helped save the Ole Miss bullpen, as the Rebels look to play its way through the losers' bracket, which means four straight wins in three days.
"Aaron did a terrific job," Bianco said. "I'm proud of him. He had a little discomfort out there. He kind of stepped funny off the mound. He was having some pain in his hip. That's one of the first visits that we went out there for. He showed a lot of guts today and really competed well. Then Massie comes in and gets out of the ninth inning.
"But they're going to have pitch again if we get all the way though. Maybe, even Mike again. But that was big today. He gave us an opportunity."
Wahl to pitch tomorrow: Junior right-hander Bobby Wahl will get the start on the mound against the loser of tonight's North Carolina State-Binghamton in an elimination game at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday.
"You knew he going to pitch at some point," Bianco said of Wahl. "It wasn't by design that he was going to pitch an elimination game. But I don't think you feel comfortable now. Now, you just win pitches, win outs, win innings and starting grinding from here on out over the next three days and try to make a run."
Final word: "We play a little better defense, Mike throws a few more balls in the zone, or we bunch a few more hits together, and it's certainly a different feeling. We just didn't play very well in all three phases. I think they played than we did in all three phases of the game." -- Head coach Mike Bianco
"I don't think you really decide until the sites and brackets are announced and who you are going to play," head coach Mike Bianco said of the decision. "One of the things that we have said all week is the reason it's happening, It's not necessarily as much Bobby as it is Mike.
"Mike is as good as most guys' Friday night guy or ace. Having him makes the decision a lot easier because you have got to win the first game. So you have got to pitch a guy that can win you the first game, and we feel Mike is as good as most guys' Friday night guy and gives us a great opportunity to win on Friday."
Mayers enters the contest with a 5-5 record, 2.98 ERA and .231 opponents' batting average. He has 70 strikeouts against 31 walks in 87.2 innings of work. It will be his third career NCAA Tournament appearance, having made a start and relief appearance in the College Station Regional last year.
"Having Bobby in the rotation with me is a huge benefit to our team," Mayers said. "I enjoy the pressure, and obviously the bigger the game, the bigger the pressure. Right now, game one is the biggest game of the year."
Mayers will be opposed by William & Mary sophomore left-hander Jason Inghram. The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder earned third team All-CAA honors and enters the contest with a 8-6 record, 3.46 ERA and .242 opponents' batting average. He has 96 strikeouts against 23 walks in 96.1 innings of work. Ole Miss is 10-14 against left-handed starters on the year.
"We know we're facing a lefty," junior catcher Stuart Turner said. "We have faced a lot of them this year. We kind of struggled with them a little bit. We like facing them now. So many (teams) threw them at us. I think we have made the adjustment. We're going to be ready for it."
Turner makes big difference: Stuart Turner earned All-SEC and All-American honors this past week. He was named an All-SEC First Team and Defensive Team selection on Tuesday, then a second team All-America selection on Thursday.
He leads the team in batting average (.381), doubles (15), home runs (5), RBI (50), on-base percentage (.452) and slugging percentage (.433). His .381 average ranks second in the SEC, and defensively, he has thrown out 21-of-41 runners on steal attempts.
"He's a difference-maker, as we've talked about all year," Bianco said. "People see the numbers and the catcher, and the batting average, the RBI, and certainly he's a force in our lineup. But the reason he's a true difference-maker is defensively, he's as good as they come.
"He's the best catch-and-throw guy that we have ever had. He's great with the pitchers, great receiver. He's going to block all the balls, of course. He can really get rid of the ball, very accurate, very strong arm and really defends the steal. To have that guy game in and game out for nine innings behind the plate has been a big difference for us."
This will be the first NCAA Tournament appearance for Turner, and he said it's been just a lot of excitement since the selection show Monday.
"You come here, you want to make a region, win a regional, play in a super regional, win a super regional," Turner said. "That selection show was the first time I had been through that.
"Just to hear our name and hear where we're going, just to officially start the Road to Omaha, it's been a great ride so far. This regular season has been great. Ready to get it started now, and get ready to go to the postseason."
Fresh start for Bousfield:Sophomore center fielder Auston Bousfield is 1-for-32 in his most recent at-bats, dating back to game three of the Mississippi State series. Head coach Mike Bianco said the message to Bousfield has been to just stay positive.
"He's obviously had a tough couple of weeks," Bianco said. "But he's a guy that's our guy, a guy that's been there all year long. Baseball's a tough game. There are times where you don't feel good. There are times where you don't have success. And mentally, it can really cripple you. You just got to stay positive.
"One of the good things about this is there really is a break. A lot of times when you're slumping, you talk to kids and say, 'Hey, turn the page, act like you're batting .000 now, let's start over.' But you can really do that in the postseason. You can really start anew, regardless if you're a position player or a pitcher."
Bousfield said he remains confident as he works on things, specifically shortening his swing, hitting the ball to the right and staying inside the ball.
"It's alright," Bousfield said of his confidence. "You really just got to keep playing for your team more than anything. The guys need me out there on defense. If I can't help with the bat, I always feel like I can help on defense. I got to keep working, and I'll get out of it eventually."
Bianco said Bousfield will be fine, noting his work in batting practice this week.
"This week, watching him take batting practice, he's looked terrific," Bianco said. "He swung it great today here on the field."
Junior shortstop Austin Anderson missed Thursday's practice after getting sick with a stomach virus overnight. Bianco said he would be "shocked" if he didn't play tomorrow.
"It would be a lot of fun, but first, we have to care of our game against William & Mary." -- Bobby Wahl, on possible matchup with North Carolina State left-hander Carlos Rodon
"I hope to see that. It will be a fun one, if it ends up happening." -- Carlos Rodon, on possible matchup with Bobby Wahl
"I wouldn't call it small. It's more true, especially down the lines. Even with the wind blowing in, (Tanner) Mathis and (Will) Jamison hit a ball out today... It's a little more fair for the hitters. It's not as big as our park, but not as small as some others, very average." -- Mike Bianco, on Doak Field's dimensions (320-370-400-380-330)
"It's going to be a good atmosphere. Last year, we had a great turnout at the Vanderbilt games. This year should be, hopefully, more. We'll see. We have got faithful Wolfpack fans out there. They're very active, very loud. You see them on the third-base line making noise, heckling a little bit, which I like, so we'll see how it goes." -- Rodon, on atmosphere for the Raleigh Regional
The final 2013 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National
Rankings were released Tuesday and Ole Miss is back in the top 10 for the 15th
time in the last 20 years ending the year at No. 10.
After further research, it should be noted what an accomplishment
that is.The Rebels are one of just four
teams to finish the season ranked top 10 at least 15 times in the last 20
years.UCLA (19), Georgia (17) and
Stanford (16) are the other three.
Here is a breakdown of the Rebels' final ranking the last 20
The Rebels return four of the top six in 2014 including
All-American Nik Scholtz and fellow All-SEC honoree William Kallberg, so perhaps
another top-10 finish is in the cards.
The Ole Miss Athletics Foundation surpassed its all-time record for Foundation members with 7,188 members, as of today. Among the 7,188 members, 4,200 have joined or renewed since the rebranding March 1. A member is anyone who donates toward priority seating for baseball, basketball or football, or someone who donates philanthropically toward membership or the Vaught Society.
"It is truly an exciting time to be an Ole Miss Rebel," said Keith Carter, Athletics Foundation Executive Director. "Surpassing the all-time record for Foundation members is a testament to the passion, energy and excitement of the Ole Miss faithful. While we are very happy with this announcement, we will not slow down. Our goal is to eventually reach the 10,000 donor mark. With everyone working together, we will get there.
"Overall, the future is extremely bright. We have experienced some great success over the past 12 months but I firmly believe that we are just getting started."
In addition, there have been 1,000 new football season ticket holders, bringing the total number to 8,720. Football season ticket allocations begin June 10 and will be used for both seats and parking selections.
Membership starts at $50, and payment plans are available. For anyone who wants to join the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation, they can visit RebelGiving.com. For anyone who wants to join or renew, they can call 662-915-7159.
The Ole Miss baseball team advanced to the NCAA Tournament on Monday when it was announced the Rebels would be the second seed and face third-seeded William & Mary at the Raleigh Regional hosted by North Carolina State on Friday. They will play at 1 p.m. CT in game one of the regional, and it can be watched on ESPN3. Ole Miss will then either face host and first-seeded North Carolina State or fourth-seeded Binghamton in the second game of the tournament on Saturday.
The Raleigh Regional is paired with the Eugene Regional with host and national No. 8 seed Oregon, second-seeded Rice, third-seeded San Francisco and fourth-seeded South Dakota State.
Sunday's semifinals against the Texas duo of Chris Camillone and David Holiner will feature live scoring, and if the match is played outdoors, live video. The match will start not before 3 p.m., and to access live scoring and video, go to OleMissSports.com and click on the link in the calendar.
This marks the second year in a row and seventh time overall for Ole Miss to have a doubles team in the NCAA Final Four. Scholtz and Lutjen are the fourth team in the last six years, with twins Marcel Thiemann and Chris Thiemann the most recent, who reached the semifinals last year.
Mahesh Bhupathi, a 12-time Grand Slam Champion in doubles and mixed doubles including the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open, combined with Ali Hamedeh to win the NCAA Doubles title in 1995, the first NCAA doubles title in program history.
Ole Miss Men's Tennis In NCAA Doubles Final Four:
Mahesh Bhupathi and Ali Hamadeh win the doubles title. They ended the year ranked No. 3 in the nation and earned a wildcard into the US Open. Teammates Johan Landsberg and Remi Feneon also reached the semifinals. Landsberg went on to play professional tennis on the ATP Tour and was ranked top 50 in the world in doubles.
James Shortall and Vikrant Chadha lost in three sets in the semifinals and ended the year ranked No. 12 in the nation.
Erling Tvelt and Jonas Berg reached the final and lost 7-6(10), 7-6(6). They ended the year ranked No. 3 in the nation. Matthias Wellermann and Bram ten Berge also reached the semifinals and had match point in the third set tiebreaker before losing 12-10. A win would have guaranteed the Rebels their second NCAA doubles title in program history. The following year, Berg combined with Bram ten Berge, and they won the ITA All-American Championship and ascended to No. 1 in the nation.
After two previous first-round exits, twins Marcel Thiemann and Chris Thiemann advanced to the Final Four as an unseeded team and ended the year ranked No. 11 in the nation.
WHAT HAPPENED VS. ALABAMA: For the third time in the SEC Tournament, Ole Miss scored first with three runs in the second, then battled back to tie the 5-5 in the seventh, but fell to Alabama 7-5 in 10 innings. With the loss, the Rebels were eliminated from the SEC Tournament.
Alabama scored two runs in the fourth, then three in the fifth to take a 5-3 lead. Ole Miss tied the game at 5-5 in the seventh, as junior catcher Stuart Turner delivered a 2-out, 2-RBI single to left after the Rebels loaded the bases on three straight 2-out walks.
Senior right-hander Brett Huber entered the game with runners at second and third and one out, then got two swinging strikes against Alabama shortstop Mikey White, who then delivered the big hit, a 2-RBI single up the middle through the drawn-in infield to give Alabama a 7-5 lead.
OLE MISS AWAITS NCAA TOURNAMENT ANNOUNCEMENT: The Field of 64 will be announced on May 27 at 11 a.m. CT on ESPNU. Ole Miss finished the season 37-22 with a No. 18 RPI and No. 8 strength of schedule, which includes series wins against Arkansas and Mississippi State.
WAGUESPACK IN HIS SECOND CAREER START: Freshman right-hander Jacob Waguespack got the start on the mound, his second of the season, and retired the first nine Alabama batters in order, including three strikeouts.
He gave up two runs on two hits with two walks and a career-high three strikeouts in a career-long 3.2 innings of work, as he left with a 3-2 lead.
"I'm proud of his effort," head coach Mike Bianco said. "We challenged him. We knew that he would throw the ball in the strike zone without fear, and that's why we went with him. He deserved it. He's pitched well every time out. And as he mentioned, he's getting stronger and stronger. He's going to be a good."
Waguespack, who dealt with an elbow injury for much of the season, had made five appearances and allowed four runs -- three earned -- on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 9.1 innings prior to Thursday's start.
"Like every guy on the staff, whenever you're called upon, you try to do your job, whether it's out of the bullpen, or whenever coach wants to start me," Waguespack said. "I'm just looking to contribute and get better every day."
BIANCO CONFIDENT IN BULLPEN: In the first two games of the SEC Tournament, the Ole Miss bullpen allowed one run on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts in 6.1 innings. Against Alabama, it allowed five runs -- four earned -- on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 6.1 innings.
"Besides today for a couple of innings, a couple of pitches, I thought we pitched really well," Bianco said. "We gave ourselves an opportunity the first two games. We gave up two earned runs in 19 innings, and then today another 10-inning game. We hurt ourselves win an error one inning.
"Scott (Weathersby) fell behind a little bit in his stint, but I thought besides him, we pitched pretty well today. So that's good going forward. That's been the Achilles' heel the last three or four weeks. Hopefully, we shored that up this week and got back to where we were with the bullpen a month ago."
Massie allowed just one hit with a walk and two strikeouts in 3.2 scoreless innings against Kentucky and Alabama. Greenwood took the loss against Arkansas, but allowed just one run on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
GETTING WAHL BACK ON SCHEDULE: Junior right-hander Bobby Wahl did not pitch for Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament this week. In his last start, May 18 against LSU, he gave up six runs on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 2.2 innings.
"Bobby would have pitched tomorrow, would have started tomorrow," Bianco said. "We talked about it prior to the game. Now, we'll just have to figure out what we want to do, as far as maybe a simulated bullpen, simulated game to let him throw a little bit.
"He needed the rest as well. Unfortunately, we didn't stay here long enough for him him to pitch. For him personally, I don't think it's going to be a bad thing next week. Not pitching for him, I don't think is going to be a bad thing at all."
Summer is approaching which means the magazine stands are starting to fill up with preseason football publications. I swung by the convenient store Wednesday, and it looks like Sporting News and Athlon won the war of getting their season previews out first. As you see below, Bo Wallace is featured on both of the regional covers, and both media outlets have the Rebels finishing fourth in the SEC West and pegged for a trip to the Music City Bowl. Here are more notables from the mags, and we'll keep you posted as more come out.
National Rank: #25
Recruiting Rank: #7 (247Sports)
Bowl Prediction: Music City vs NC State SEC Rank: West #4 SEC's Best Recruiter: Hugh Freeze
SEC's Top Impact Frosh: Robert Nkemdiche
National Rank: #33 Recruiting Rank: #6 (consensus) Bowl Prediction: Music City vs Georgia Tech New Coach of 2012 #4: Hugh Freeze SEC Rank: West #4 SEC LB Unit Rank: #3 SEC WR/TE Unit Rank: #5 All-SEC 2nd team: Donte Moncrief, Aaron Morris, CJ Johnson, Denzel Nkemdiche All-SEC 3rd team: Cody Prewitt, Tyler Campbell
ADDITIONS FROM ONLINE EDITION All-SEC 4th team: Jeff Scott, Issac Gross, Charles Sawyer
Track & Field News published today a comprehensive listing of the best marks in the world and U.S. this year, combining indoors and outdoors (full lists here).
Several current and former Ole Miss athletes found themselves on the lists, as shown below.
Notables include Isiah Young ranked No. 3 in the world and first among Americans in the 200 meters, Sam Kendricks No. 7 in the world and second among Americans in the pole vault and former Rebel Brittney Reese tops in the world in the women's long jump.
Current Rebel men:
Isiah Young - 100m (10.09)
- #9 U.S.
Isiah Young - 200m (20.20)
- #3 World
- #1 U.S.
Ole Miss - 4x100m relay (39.69)
- #26 U.S.
Ricky Robertson - High Jump (7-6) - #4 U.S.
Sam Kendricks - Pole Vault (19-0.75) - #7 World - #2 U.S.
Ricky Robertson - Triple Jump (52-8.25)
- #19 U.S.
Morris Kersh - Triple Jump (51-11.75) - #36 U.S.
Former Rebel men:
Antwon Hicks - 110m Hurdles (13.25) - #4 World - #3 U.S.
Current Rebel women:
Mary Ashton Nall - Heptathlon (5397) - #29 U.S.
Former Rebel women:
Brittney Reese - Long Jump (23-9.5) - #1 World - #1 U.S.
Bianco in SEC Tournament elimination games:Head coachMike Bianco has advanced to 11 SEC Tournaments in his 13-year tenure at Ole Miss. He is 9-9 all-time in SEC Tournament elimination games, including a 4-1 win against Kentucky on Tuesday. With a 1-1 record this year, he is 20-19 all-time in SEC Tournament games.
Rebels sweep in regular season: Ole Miss and Alabama met for a three-game series in Oxford with the Rebels winning all three games.
Bobby Wahl and Aaron Greenwood combined for a two-hit shutout in game one, as Ole Miss won 6-0. The Rebels clinched the series with a 5-2 win in game two, then Tanner Mathis delivered a bases-loaded single in the 11th to sweep the series with a 4-3 win in the series finale.
Waguespack to make second career start:Freshman right-hander Jacob Waguespack will start for Ole Miss against Alabama. The 6-foot-6, 215-pounder from Prairieville, La., dealt with an elbow injury for much of the season and made his season debut April 16 against Southern Miss.
Waguespack has made five appearances, including one start, and allowed four runs -- three earned -- on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 9.1 innings. In his one start, he took the loss against Southern Miss, as he gave up two run on four hits in three innings.
Another turn for Mississippi native Turnbull: Jacob Waguespack will be opposed on the mound by Spencer Turnbull, a sophomore right-hander from Madison, Miss.
Earlier this year, he took a no-decision in a 4-3 loss to Ole Miss, as he allowed two runs on six hits with four walks and two strikeouts in six innings. He pitched in relief against the Rebels in 2012 and took the loss, as he allowed four runs on four hits a strikeout in 0.2 innings.
This season, the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder is second on the team with 13 starts and 77.1 innings pitched this season. He holds a 4-3 record with a 3.61 ERA, .295 B/AVG, 1.46 WHIP and 41-to-30 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Turnbull has also thrown two complete games this season, including a four-hit shutout against Auburn.
Bianco, on availability of Bobby Wahl:"Bobby threw a little bit off the mound today. He could probably throw tomorrow in an emergency. It's not health-wise. We got to be careful with him. We want to do what's right for him and for the program. And as much as we want to have success here, we're going to have to win the following day as well, so somebody else has to pitch.
"We've really pushed him over the last couple of weeks, as far as short rest and throwing one inning on Friday, then coming back on Sunday, then coming back on two days' short rest. I think we got to get closer to what his normal routine is."
Bianco, on 10 different ineups over last 13 games: "Part of it, I think is trying to find the right matchup... The top five have been pretty solid the last few games with Mathis, Anderson, and then Turner, Mistone, Boz... You just try to find the right matchup for that pitcher that day."
Ole Miss Lineup (career vs. UA SO RHP Spencer Turnbull)
"I have always thought I had the potential to go out there and pitch in the SEC," Smith said. "That's why I came here. I just hadn't showed it yet. I think I have done that."
Smith took a no-decision in Wednesday's 4-1 loss to Arkansas, but he continued his success on the mound, giving up just one run on six hits with a walk and four strikeouts in six innings. In the third, he retired three batters in order after back-to-back singles to start the inning, then pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth.
"My defense helped me out a lot," Smith said. "Andrew Mistone made some really good plays. It helped a lot I was able to fill up the zone with all my pitches. I got my slider in the second or third inning. That was a good pitch for me. I was able to locate that well. I was able to keep them off balance, and that was big for me."
His six innings of work tied a career high, most recently against Mississippi State, in which he picked up his third win of the season. He gave up three runs -- one earned -- on eight hits with two strikeouts, as Ole Miss won 10-8.
"I was getting pretty tired, but I was still able to throw all my pitches for strikes," Smith said of pitching six innings. "I think as long as I could do that, I was fine. I felt OK."
Over his last seven starts, dating back to April 14 against Alabama, Smith has allowed just 10 runs, eight of which were earned, in 35 innings.
"Coach (Carl) Lafferty has worked a lot with me in the bullpen," Smith said. "We have been working on a lot of things. My defense has really what has given me the most confidence. I'm not scared to go after people and let them hit the ball because they have made some great plays for me."
Smith said he feels like he has been pitching about the same, just doing a better job throwing pitches for strikes and keeping the ball down. He also credited Wahl and Mayers, and their approach on the mound.
"Those guys compete harder than anyone I have ever seen," Smith said of Wahl and Mayers. "I try to model my competitiveness after them. They're fun to watch. I think a lot of what I need to work on was runners in scoring position, two outs and making big pitches to get out of the inning. I think I have been doing a better of job of that."
It will be his second career start against the Razorbacks, as he took a no-decision in a 6-4 win against Arkansas in 13 innings earlier this season. He allowed one run on three hits with a walk and strikeout in five innings.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder remains unbeaten with a 3-0 record to go along with a 3.28 ERA, .281 B/AVG, 1.40 WHIP and 29-to-18 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In his last six starts, he has allowed nine runs, seven of which were earned, in 29 innings.
Like junior right-hander Mike Mayers on Tuesday, Smith will be pitching on four days' rest, having pitched 3.1 innings against LSU this past Friday, giving up two runs on four hits with three strikeouts and two walks, as Ole Miss lost 5-4.
Astin settles into starter role: Sam Smith will be opposed on the mound by junior right-hander Barrett Astin for Arkansas.In his last outing, a start against Auburn this past Thursday, he took the loss, as he allowed three runs on nine hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in 6.1 innings.
"He threw Thursday (against Auburn)," Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said Monday. "He's probably, obviously, our freshest starter. Give him about five days rest."
The 6-foot-1, 200-punder has pitched in 16 games, including 12 as a starter, and holds a 4-4 record with a 2.02 ERA, .246 B/AVG, 1.18 WHIP and 56-to-18 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has bounced between the weekend rotation and bullpen, settling into the rotation where he has made nine starts. In those starts, he has allowed 15 runs, 12 of which were earned, in 45.2 innings.
He pitched in relief in a 6-4 loss to Ole Miss in 13 innings earlier this season, as he allowed one run on four hits with a strikeout. He also made a relief apperance against the Rebels in 2012, and two relief appearances in 2011.
The Arkansas pitching staff leads the nation with a team ERA of 1.90. The bullpen is a combined 10-7 with 17 saves and a 1.76 ERA
Ole Miss Lineup (career vs. UA JR RHP Barrett Astin)
"On short rest, the talking point after the game is how terrific Mike Mayers was," head coach Mike Bianco said. "I don't know if we have another guy who can do what Mike just did. It probably worked out better than we imagine; he was terrific today."
Kentucky threatened in the top of seventh, loading the bases, but junior left-hander Jeremy Massie got out of the inning with an infield fly popup and a groundout. In all, Massie allowed one hit with one walk in 1.2 scoreless innings.
"Jeremy Massie came in with a tough position with the tying run at the plate," Bianco said. "They get a swinging bunt, but he was super composed and gets the pop up and ground ball to get out of (the 7th inning)."
Offensively, the Ole Miss offense pounded out 11 hits, including four doubles, as eight of the nine starters recorded hits during the game. The top four in the order were 4-of-14 with two doubles and two RBI. The Rebels scored a run in the first and third, then two in the sixth.
"It was nice to watch guys continue to swing after coming off the last two games at LSU where we swung it pretty well," Bianco said.
Ole Miss advances to play No. 3 seed Arkansas tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. CT. The game will be televised on CSS and will be streamed online on ESPN3.
MAYERS ON SHORT REST: Mike Mayers made his second-straight start on four days' rest after throwing 105 pitches in a 7-1 loss to LSU this past Thursday and 94 pitches in a 3-0 win against Mississippi State the previous Saturday.
"I felt fine," Mayers said. "I think people make a bigger deal on short rest. You grew up, and nobody ever cared about rest. In the big leagues, you throw 200-plus innings. I stayed on the same routine I have been on the last two weeks.
"It was one of those days. My fastball command was there. I really pride myself on fastball command and pitch off of that. When my fast ball command is there, coach Mike Bianco does the rest, and Stu(art) Turner does a great job behind the plate."
PITCHING PLAN GOING FORWARD: Mike Bianco did not announce a starter for Wednesday's game against Arkansas. He Bianco said on Monday junior right-hander Bobby Wahl won't start Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, but may work out of the bullpen.
"We'll have to see," Bianco said of the pitching plan. "We'll go back. (Sam) Smith threw a little short work today. We'll talk to Coach Lafferty and see how that went prior to the game and look at that. There are some things running through our head, and how we are going to use Bobby this week.
"It has more to do with health and setting up for next week, and remaining sure you can win the next game."
ANOTHER FAMILIAR FOE IN ARKANSAS: Ole Miss and Arkansas met in a three-game series in March in Fayetteville with the Rebels winning two of three to open Southeastern Conference play. Ole Miss won the series opener 7-1, then Arkansas evened the series with a 10-1 win in game two. In the series finale, Ole Miss won 6-4 in 13 innings.
"I thought we got them at a good time," Bianco said of the earlier series against Arkansas. "(Ryne) Stanek wasn't pitching as well. Dominic (Ficociello), he was playing in the series, but certainly hurt. It was good timing on our part.
"You don't finish third in this league unless you're very, very good. Of course, they're outstanding on the mound. They have one of the best pitching staffs in the country, so it will be a good challenge for our offense."
Ole Miss also played Arkansas in last year's SEC Tournament, where it won 2-0 and eliminated the Razorbacks.
ASTIN TO START FOR ARKANSAS: Junior right-hander Barrett Astin will get the start for Arkansas. In his last outing, a start against Auburn this past Thursday, he took the loss, as he allowed three runs on nine hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in 6.1 innings.
"He threw Thursday," Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. "He's probably, obviously, our freshest starter. Give him about five days rest."
He pitched 2.2 innings of relief against Ole Miss earlier this year, giving up one run on four hits with a strikeout. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder enters Wednesday's contest with a 4-4 record to go along with a 2.02 ERA, .254 B/AVG, 1.22 WHIP and 63-to-19 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Mayers to make second-straight start on four days' rest:Head coach Mike Bianco announced Monday that junior right-hander Mike Mayers will get the start against Kentucky. It will be his second-straight start on four days' rest. He enters the contest with a 4-5 record to go along with a 3.21 ERA, .229 B/AVG, 1.20 WHIP and 66-to-30 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder threw 105 pitches in a 7-1 loss to LSU this past Thursday, giving up five runs on seven hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in six innings of work. He threw 94 pitches the in a 3-0 win against Mississippi State the previous Saturday, as he worked seven scoreless innings, giving up two hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
Mayers will be making his third career start against Kentucky, the second of the season. He won each of the two previous meetings, both matched against Kentucky starter Jerad Grundy, as he allowed a combined six runs -- four earned -- in 13.1 innings. Earlier this year, he allowed three runs -- one earned -- on one hit with three walks and eight strikeouts in six innings.
Wahl 'day-to-day in his workload': Mike Bianco said that the availability of junior right-hander Bobby Wahl is another thing they will talk about today. He said Wahl won't start Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, but may work out of the bullpen.
"We want to pitch him, we need to pitch him, but we have to be careful and make sure he's really feeling good when the regional rolls around," Bianco said of Wahl.
Bianco in SEC Tournament openers, elimination games: Mike Bianco has advanced to 11 SEC Tournaments in his 13-year tenure at Ole Miss. He is 6-4 all-time in SEC Tournament openers.
With the new tournament format this season, the first round is single elimination before double elimination will begin with the final eight teams, including the top four seeds. Bianco is 8-9 all-time in SEC Tournament elimination games, including a 2-0 win against Arkansas and 11-2 loss to LSU last season.
Bianco also won the 2006 SEC Tournament without facing elimination, winning four straight, capped by a 9-3 win against Vanderbilt 9-3 in the final. He is 19-18 all-time in SEC Tournament games.
Mathis stays hot at the top: Senior outfielder Tanner Mathis has reached base in 18 straight games and has raised his average 51 points to. 272 during that span. He was 7-for-10 with four walks in three games against LSU this past weekend.
Mathis has started all but one game and leads the team with 32 walks and ranks second on the team with a .408 on-base percentage.
"All of them have swung the bat great," Bianco said of the top and middle of his lineup. "(Austin) Anderson, (Tanner) Mathis, (Stuart) Turner, (Andrew) Mistone, they just continue to get hotter and hotter as the postseason gets closer. You need a handful of guys in the middle or at the top of the lineup to produce runs."
Familiar foe in Kentucky: Ole Miss and Kentucky met in a three-game series in April in Oxford with the Rebels dropping the series 2-1 to the Wildcats. Kentucky rallied to win the series opener 3-2 on the ESPNU Thursday Night Game of the Week. Ole Miss evened the series with a 11-5 win in game two, but was unable to complete a ninth-rally in a 5-4 loss in the series finale.
Ole Miss and Kentucky also met in last year's SEC Tournament opener with the Wildcats winning 2-0. Matt Snyder went 4-for-4 at the plate, while Bobby Wahl allowed just two runs on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
Where Kentucky is now: Kentucky, picked third in the SEC Eastern Division in the preseason poll, began the season ranked as high as No. 8 in one poll. The Wildcats began the season 22-6, winning 14 of their first 16 games before the start of SEC play.
Kentucky started SEC play with three straight series wins against Florida, Mississippi State and Georgia before dropping three straight series to LSU, Tennessee and South Carolina prior to its series against Ole Miss.Since its series win at Ole Miss, Kentucky is 4-7, including series losses to Arkansas, Vanderbilt and Missouri.
Including nonconference games, Kentucky is 8-18 (5-16 in SEC play) since its 22-6 start and has fallen out of the polls. The Wildcats enter the SEC Tournament with a No 38 RPI, No. 25 strength of schedule and a 13-17 record against the RPI Top 50. Kentucky head coach Gary Herderson said they need a significant run, if not win the SEC Tournament to make the NCAA Tournament.
Grundy faces Ole Miss for the third time: Senior left-hander Jerad Grundy gets the nod on the mound for Kentucky, his third career start for Ole Miss. He took the loss in each of the two previous starts, as he allowed a combined 15 runs in 10.1 innings. Earlier this year, he allowed nine runs on 12 hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 5.2 innings, as Ole Miss won 11-5.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder enters Tuesday's contest with a 6-5 record to go along with a 4.75 ERA, .286 B/AVG, 1.36 WHIP and 60-to-20 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Ole Miss is 9-13 against left-handed starters this season.
Grundy, a 26th-round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in the 2012 MLB Draft, started the season in the weekend rotation and won five of his first six decisions, including wins against Florida and Mississippi State.
He then suffered three straight losses to Georgia, LSU and Tennessee, followed by a no-decision against South Carolina and a loss to Ole Miss and was removed from the weekend rotation. In the two midweek starts since, against Wright State and Indiana, Grundy is 1-0 with a 1.64, allowing just two runs on nine hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
"He ran into a rough four-game stretch in the middle of the year," Kentucky head coach Gary Henderson said of Grundy. "We moved him out of the rotation, and he was able to relax and get back to being himself, which is what we saw for the last year and a half. He's pitched much, much better the last two or three times out than he had the previous four."
What's at stake for Kentucky:
I think so. RT @kyletucker_cj: @aaronfitt UK, off losing 2 of 3 at Mizzou & with just 11 SEC wins, gotta win SEC tournament to get in NCAA?
My name is Austin Miller, and I am the new writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. I graduated with a bachelor's in journalism from Ole Miss less than two weeks ago, and I will be attending graduate school there in the fall.
I worked for The Daily Mississippian the last three years, where I started as a beat writer for women's soccer and baseball, then sports editor and finally managing editor. I have also contributed to the Clarion-Ledger, RebelGrove.com/Rivals.com and the Ole Miss Spirit/Scout.com.
I will provide feature content for the OleMissSports.com official website and blog, including behind-the-scenes and other feature stories, and report from key games and other events, including the SEC Baseball Tournament this week.
More on the blog after the SEC Baseball Tournament Coaches' Media Teleconference.
It was exciting news this week as Rebel favorite Tom Luke returned to the Ole Miss football program as Assistant A.D. for Player Development. A second-generation Rebel and the brother of fellow Ole Miss standout and staffer Matt Luke, Tom quarterbacked the Rebels to some memorable wins in the early 90s. A few of those games along with many other great moments from the past are available for RebelVision subscribers in the "From the Vault" channel. There are game replays and classic coaches' shows from the 50s to the 2000s. Below are some of Tom Luke's games, and I highly recommend checking out the rest of the content From The Vault.
A little more than a year into his first term as Ole Miss Athletics Director, Ross Bjork made his first trip to Starkville this week but did so for a good cause. Bjork and Bulldog AD Scott Stricklin joined forces Tuesday to headline the Golden
Triangle Friends of Scouting Leadership Dinner held at MSU's Hunter Henry
Center. The annual event is a fundraising effort for the Pushmataha Area
Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which serves some 1,300 young people in
10 counties in east Mississippi. Bjork and Stricklin spoke jointly to the group
on attributes of leadership and the worth of programs like Scouting in
preparing future NCAA student athletes. Shown with the pair are Pushmataha
Council president and MSU Vice President for Student Affairs Bill Kibler,
second from left, and Starkville Boy Scout Troop 14 Eagle Scout Austin Kibler,
second from right. (Photo
by Beth Newman-Wynn, MSU University Relations)