By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
HOOVER, Ala. – As pitching on both sides settled into a groove it became clear Wednesday morning that one run could be a difference maker for Ole Miss or Arkansas.
“We both hit some line drives at people that kept us from scoring runs,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said.
For Ole Miss, those opportunities were in the eighth and ninth innings.
The Rebels had the bases loaded with two outs in the eighth when Will Allen – the last batter faced by Arkansas starter Barrett Astin – line hard to first base.
In the ninth, Auston Bousfield’s hit over the bag at third was almost fair with the go-ahead run at second base. Bousfield then struck out to end the inning.
Ole Miss won three games against Alabama in Oxford and will face the Crimson Tide’s top pitcher today.
Spencer Turnbull, a right-hander and a Mississippian from Madison, got a no-decision at Swayze Field on April 14 when the Rebels won in the 11th inning on Tanner Mathis’ walk-off hit.
Turnbull went six innings, giving up six hits, two runs and four walks. He’s 4-3 with a 3.61 earned run average.
The Rebels will start freshman right-hander Jacob Waguespack (0-1, 2.89).
Ole Miss ace Bobby Wahl hasn’t pitched this week. He could throw in relief today, though Rebels coach Mike Bianco downplayed that possibility.
“As much as we want to have success here, we’re going to have to win the following day as well,” he said.
Bianco said his main objective his getting Wahl (9-0, 1.99) as close to his normal routine as possible.
“We really pushed him over the last couple of weeks as far as short rest, pitching one inning on a Friday then coming back on Sunday, then coming back on two days short rest. I think we’ve got to get closer to what his routine normally is.”
Wahl’s last start was on Saturday at LSU.He gave up six runs in 22⁄3 innings but was not involved in the decision.