It was really a nice run of pitching last week with Ole Miss giving up just one run in 45 innings.
But pitching depth that was believed to be a strong suit for the Rebels when the season began has gotten pretty thin largely because of the injuries to two newcomers: Junior college transfer R.J. Hively and freshman Bobby Wahl.
Both will pitch tonight against Samford, at least for an inning, if things go to plan, which often they do not.
Both Hively and Wahl have experienced arm soreness around the elbow, minor enough to treat with rest. They’ve both thrown bullpen sessions within the last few days with no trouble.
Both have made one appearance this season, Wahl a four-inning start in which he gave up six hits, Hively a third of an inning in relief in which he allowed four hits.
It’s been a difficult stretch for the bullpen, which also is without closer Jake Morgan, now day to day after Sunday’s flare-up with his shoulder.
“Certainly at the beginning we thought we had all this depth, then you get hit with injuries to key guys,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “Some guys then jump up in different roles. Obviously Mike Mayers has pitched more in the last 10 days. I don’t want to say more than expected, because he’s in there, because we think he’s good, but some of those innings certainly would have been taken up by Hively and Wahl. It’s given some other guys some opportunities, and that will add a lot to our bullpen once everybody gets back.”
Freshman right-hander Austin Hartzog did not appear to be high up in the mix in the early going. Now he’ll redshirt this season after surgery on a nerve in his elbow.
Hartzog was having some issues in the elbow before he arrived at Ole Miss. It became a situation to where the arm would strengthen, but a decline would follow each time.
A Jackson native, Hartzog played at Hillcrest Christian, where he had 318 strikeouts in 214 innings and a 2.09 ERA for his career.