By Jeff Roberson/Special to the Daily Journal
OXFORD – Starter Bobby Wahl had his longest outing of the season as the Ole Miss ace pitched eight innings and the sixth-ranked Rebels beat Texas A&M 8-2 on Friday night.
“The story of the game certainly was Bobby,” said Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco after his team improved to 21-2 overall and 3-1 in Southeastern Conference play.
“I thought this was his best outing of the year. He said to me that he felt like he really pitched tonight. I think he hit the nail on the head.”
Wahl, who had uncharacteristically walked more batters than usual this season, walked none Friday and had nine strikeouts with just one earned run on seven hits.
“One of the biggest things was just coming out here and pitching. Throwing strikes and getting ahead early,” said Wahl, now 6-0 on the year.
Wahl was especially pleased about having no walks.
“That’s always good,” he said.
Ole Miss broke open a scoreless game with two runs in the fourth and four runs in the fifth. Except for a couple of infield errors in the sixth when the Aggies got both their runs, the Rebels’ lead was never threatened.
In the fourth inning, Will Allen doubled to score Sikes Orvis who had been hit by a pitch from Aggie starter Kyle Martin. Will Jamison followed that up with a double to score Allen to make it 2-0.
Tanner Mathis got a bunt down to start the fifth and beat out the throw. Mathis stole second, and Auston Bousfield singled as Mathis got to third. Austin Anderson then plated Mathis with a single. Two more Rebel runs came in that inning to make it 6-0.
After A&M cut the lead to 6-2, Bousfield launched one over the left field wall in the sixth to make it 7-2.
With an 8-2 lead after eight innings, Bianco went with Aaron Greenwood to close things out.
Ole Miss had 11 hits in the contest to go along with its eight runs.
“Any time you can score eight runs on Friday night and get double-digit hits it’s a big night,” Bianco said. “It seems like throughout the lineup we’ve been able to get it done, and that’s what happened again tonight.”
Ole Miss and Texas A&M (15-8, 3-1) play game two of this three-game series at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The game is to be televised by ESPNU.