FINAL: Ole Miss 6, TCU 2
The Rebels advance in the winners' bracket and will face the A&M-Dayton winner tomorrow night at 6:35.
In most cases six runs would not constitute an "explosion," but the rules are different for a team that in its last eight games has scored as many as five runs just once and has been shut out three times.
The lst time the Rebels scored at least six runs in a game was a 7-4 win over Tennessee on May 12, and it took 11 innings to do it then.
Sikes Orvis figured prominently into that game with a tying two-run home run in the ninth inning.
Orvis had a number of "barrel up" at-bats in the SEC tournament that did not fall for basehits. His single up the middle in the four-run eighth wasn't a smash, and with two scoreless innings from RJ Hively, the Rebels could have won without it since they already led 3-2.
But they needed it for their psyche. A team struggling so mightily to score runs needed a big offensive inning for its confidence. We'll see if there's carry-over.
For much of the game against TCU starter Preston Morrison it looked like the same 'ol, same 'ol. Morrison threw 3.1 scoreless innings against Ole Miss in his first college game back in February. Today he threw five more scoreless innings before the Rebels got to him with two runs in the sixth. Tanner Mathis singled, and Alex Yarbrough, the Texan, followed with a triple. Timely hitting.
Morrison went 6.1 and scattered six hits, both runs were earned. He struck out five and walked two.
The Horned Frogs, themselves not a dynamic offense, used an aggressive approach to push across a run against Bobby Wahl in the first. Wahl gave up a leadoff single up the middle, and a bloop single on a hit-and-run put runners at the corners. The run scored on a ground ball, but TCU, with two more chances, was not able to score a second run in the first inning.
Wahl gave up two hits in the first and only two more over six more innings. Four hits total, two runs, both earned, no walks and nine strikeouts in a seven-inning performance.
Hively gave up just one hit, no walks, struck out three in 27 pitches over two innings. His availability for the remainder of the regional remains to be seen. He has closed and started on the same weekend before, but now there's the recent arm soreness to consider.
Mathis got on base three times, twice with hits and once with a walk. The Rebels drew four walks against TCU, one of them by Auston Bousfield in the eighth to put them ahead 3-2, their first lead.
The Rebels had eight hits total, and it seems like quite a while since they've been this efficient with the runs and hits so close together.
Yarbrough (2-for-5) and Andrew Mistone (2-for-3, BB) were the other multiple hitters for Ole Miss.
Settling in at Blue Bell Park and awaiting lineups.
It's a beautiful clear day wtih temps expected to reach in the low 90s. The stadium scoreboard features a small video board, but a larger, portable one has been imported for the regional. It's attached to the side of an 18-wheeler parked in left-center. Looks like the larger one may be strictly for NCAA news/propoganda. We'll see. The smaller one looks like it might fit on a kitchen counter.
College Station has been an interesting experience so far. The campus is large, spread out. Not a lot of trees in this part of the world.
Jeff and I visited the memorial to the A&M students who died when the bonfire collapsed in the late 90s.
RF Tanner Mathis .346
2B Alex Yarbrough .389
1B Matt Snyder .333
LF Zach Kirksey .287
CF Auston Bousfield .285
DH Sikes Orvis .256
C Will Allen .305
3B Andrew Mistone .230
SS Jake Overbey .227
RHP Bobby Wahl 6-3, 2.26, 87.2 IP, 31 BB, 90 S0, .211 Opp. BA
CF Von Tungeln .287
C Elander .314
DH Cron .366
3B Witte .331
2B Odell .276
LF Suiter .291
1B Johnson .240
RF Rivera .219
SS Jones .176
RHP Morrison 9-1, 1.73, 98.2 IP, 8 BB, 64 SO, .201 Opp BA