Ole Miss Falls to Maryland in Regional Opener, 3-1
May 29, 2015

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Kicking off the 2015 NCAA Tournament, the Ole Miss baseball team dropped a narrow 3-1 decision to the University of Maryland in the first game of the Los Angeles Regional Friday night, May 29, at Jackie Robinson Stadium. With the setback to the No. 3 seed Terrapins (40-21), the No. 2 seed Rebels (30-27) will play in an elimination game Saturday, May 30, at 6:00 p.m. CT.

Senior Austin Knight was phenomenal behind the plate, throwing out three baserunners throughout the game. Knight became the first Rebel to catch three runners stealing since Stuart Turner accomplished the feat against Southeast Louisiana, March 6, 2013. He also reached base twice, drawing a walk and getting plunked by a pitch.

Ole Miss starting pitcher Christian Trent (7-7) went 6.1 innings, surrendering three runs on nine hits and three walks. The southpaw also struck out four Terrapins in his outing. Fellow junior Jacob Waguespack tossed 2.2 scoreless innings of relief, striking out two and not allowing a hit.

The Terrapins were led by their left side of the infield as shortstop Kevin Smith and third baseman Jose Cuas recorded two hits apiece. Starting pitcher Mike Shawaryn (13-2) lasted 5.1 innings, allowing one run on two hits and five walks. Kevin Mooney (3) pitched the ninth to pick up the save.

Maryland got to Trent early with a pair of runs in the first. The Terrapins smacked three straight doubles, before adding another base hit. However, the Rebels' southpaw nailed down the lead runner and added a bases-loaded strikeout to prevent the big inning.

Trent put up back-to-back scoreless innings before the Terps added another run in the fourth. However, the damage was limited with the help out a double play. Trent recorded a strikeout on a ball in the dirt, and Knight threw out a runner attempting to reach second to end the frame.

A four-pitch sixth inning by Trent got the Rebels back to the dish for the bottom half of inning. Ole Miss showed its patience to get on the board, drawing four consecutive walks in the frame. Shawaryn issued three straight walks to load the bases, forcing him to exit the game. With Maryland bringing in a left-hander out of the bullpen, Coach Bianco elected to go to his bench as well, pinch-hitting right-handed hitter Nic Perkins for lefty J.B. Woodman. The move paid off as Perkins fought through an eight-pitch at-bat before his walk plated the Rebels' run and cut the deficit to two, 3-1.

In the eighth, senior Sikes Orvis tried to slice into the Maryland lead by blasting a deep flyball to center field. However, Maryland centerfielder LaMonte Wade reached over the fence, bringing the ball back into play and making the catch for the out. Knight added a shot to the warning track that was also hauled in, and the Rebels were kept off the scoreboard.

Ole Miss will return to Jackie Robinson Stadium tomorrow, facing elimination from the regional tournament. The Rebels will face the loser of the first round matchup between No. 1 seed UCLA and No. 4 seed CSU Bakersfield. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CT. The game will be available on ESPN3, the Watch ESPN app, as well as the Ole Miss Radio Network.

POSTGAME QUOTES

Mike Bianco, Ole Miss Head Coach

Opening Statement

"It happens a lot in our game. This one wasn't hard to figure out. I thought Mike Shawaryn (Maryland) pitched terrific. There's not much to say, we didn't get a hit after the first inning. We opened it up a little bit with some walks, which were very uncharacteristic for him, but we were not able to get the big hit when we had a runner in scoring position."

                                                                                              

On the performance of his starting pitcher, Christian Trent

"I'm proud of him. That was probably his worst outing for sure of this year and maybe of his career at Ole Miss. But he hung in there and gave us everything he could. He really didn't have command of his fastball today and pitched a lot off his breaking ball and change-up. He hung in there and certainly gave us an opportunity."

                                                                                                                               

On changing the mentality of the team heading into an elimination game

"I don't think it is something we will try to change. The reality is you lose another one and the season is over and everybody is aware of that and knows that. You hope that they don't play with that mentality and play more like you are supposed to play all year, pitch to pitch. But we have to play with a little more fire. Credit the way Maryland played, I don't want to take anything away from them. But we need to play better in all phases, in pitching and in offense."

 

Christian Trent, Ole Miss LHP

On the trouble with his command today

"It was on the fastball command, mainly. I just wasn't getting ahead and wasn't able to do what I needed to do and they capitalized and did what they were supposed to do. I felt really good, I just wasn't making the pitches."

 

Austin Knight, Ole Miss Catcher

On the pitching performance of Maryland's Mike Shawaryn

"Like coach (Mike) Bianco said, he gave us some opportunities but we couldn't really capitalize on them. He did a great job of pitching today. That's what he's known for and that's what he's done all year and last year. You tip your cap to the guy, but offensively, we need to do better."


 

 

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