Strong bullpen work

Trapped in traffic outside of Greenville, S.C., last night I began perusing Twitter.

I saw Ole Miss relief pitcher Jeremy Massie share a comment from his dad who offered some encouraging words on Massie’s performance in the regional.

I would have to agree. Massie threw two scoreless innings with no walks. He allowed two hits, one to the first batter he faced, that allowed an inherited run to score and closed the book on Sam Smith.

But Massie got out of the inning with a strikeout and a double-play ball. He also threw a perfect seventh inning.

The bullpen was a major story line — not a good one — in the final weeks of the regular season. There were a number of areas in which the Rebels could have played better to make a difference down the stretch. Bullpen shortcomings were glaring because of the late leads lost.

Aaron Greenwood seemed to turn a corner at LSU in the final week of the regular season. He and Massie both pitched well in the SEC tournament. In the regional, both had two appearances and neither gave up a run.

Greenwood scattered four hits but was scoreless in four innings in the Friday loss to William & Mary. Massie entered in the ninth with a base open and walked a batter but got out of the inning with a ground ball from the next man up.

Sunday in the second loss to W & M it was Massie first, then Greenwood, who pitched a scoreless inning and retired all three batters he faced.

Ole Miss only used three relievers in the regional. The third was Tanner Bailey, who was a bit unstable in relief of Bobby Wahl on Saturday, but the lead was big enough. Bailey gave up two hits and two runs, though neither was earned.

Had the Rebels played another game several more names would have entered the mix including senior Brett Huber. Freshmen Jacob Waguespack and sophomore Chris Ellis were being held as possible starters for a second game on Sunday. Mike Mayers would have been the likely starter had the Rebels extended the regional to Monday.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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