OXFORD, Miss. –Mike Mayers worked 7.0 scoreless innings as the Rebel pitching staff and defense helped win the day for the Rebels with No. 16 Ole Miss (9-2) taking the weekend series from Miami (OH) (4-5) with a 2-1 win on Sunday.
Mayers (1-1) picked up the win as he allowed four hits with a walk and five strikeouts in a career-long 7.0 innings of work. The sophomore right-hander did not have a single Redhawk base runner advance past first base in his time on the mound as the Rebels caught three men stealing on the afternoon.
Dylan Chavez worked a scoreless eighth before Brett Huber picked up his fourth save of the season in the ninth. Huber allowed one run on three hits in the ninth on the way to the Rebel victory.
“Obviously today was more about pitching and defense,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “Chavez, Mayers and Huber all pitched well. They were able to break through and get some hits off of Huber but he hung in there and was able to make some pitches and get out of a jam.
“I did not see Andrew Mistone’s great snag (in the ninth), but I heard the crowd,” Bianco said. “Mayers is pitching as well as anyone on the staff right now. He has only had two bad innings all year. Today was indicative of who he is and how he can pitch. Seven shutout innings is pretty dominant.”
Ole Miss got on the board in the second inning when Jake Overbey came up with a single through the left side to drive in his brother, Preston, from second. The elder Overbey reached on a walk and moved to third on a single to left from Auston Bousfield. He then scored on the single from the younger Overbey, who was making his first start of the season.
The Rebel pitching staff controlled things from there until Ole Miss was able to get an insurance run in the sixth inning.
Alex Yarbrough opened the inning reaching base when he was hit by a pitch. The junior then stole second and advanced to third with heads up base running on a groundout to third from Matt Snyder. Yarbrough then scored on a sacrifice fly to left field from Mistone to put Ole Miss on top 2-0.
The run proved to be big after Miami pushed a single run home in the ninth inning.
Ryan Brenner opened things up with a single back up the middle that kicked off the foot of Rebel reliever Brett Huber. The ball bounced toward first base and was grabbed by a hustling Huber who tossed the ball to first as Brenner narrowly beat the ball to the bag to reach safely.
Back-to-back singles from Matt Honchel and Bryce Redeker brought Brenner home and left men at first and second before the Rebel defense came through again. A grounder to first gave Ole Miss the first out as both runners moved into scoring decision, but a diving snag by Mistone at third on a line drive gave the Rebels the second out of the inning. The Rebels then grabbed the win when Huber was able to get John Crummy to ground out to second to end the game.
Ole Miss will return to action on Tuesday when the Rebels host UT-Martin in a single game at 6:30 p.m. at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
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