By Parrish Alford
OXFORD – Scott Weathersby’s meteoric rise to prominence continued Monday as he pitched the favorite team of his childhood into the NCAA super regional round.
Weathersby, not one of the top options early this season or previously in his career, threw 51⁄3 innings of two-hit scoreless relief, and Ole Miss completed a three-game sweep of the Oxford Regional with its second one-run win over Washington in two days.
Sikes Orvis tripled in Will Allen with the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th, and regional No. 1 seed Ole Miss defeated the No. 2 seed Huskies 3-2 before 9,396 fans at Swayze Field on Monday afternoon.
The Rebels (44-18) will play in their first NCAA super regional since 2009 when they travel to face Louisiana-Lafayette.
Weathersby, recalling that 2009 super regional, clearly enjoyed the moment of a regional championship.
“The Lord. It wasn’t my strength it was His. That was a lot of fun,” said Weathersby, a fourth-year junior from Hattiesburg.
He replaced Sam Smith with two outs and two on in fifth in a 1-1 game and got out of the inning with a ground ball. He didn’t allow his first baserunners until the eighth when he gave up a hit and a walk, both with one out.
He ended the game with a swinging strikeout of Washington designated hitter Trevor Mitsui with the tying run at first base.
Weathersby’s outing was made more impressive because it encompassed two ends of a 1 hour, 53 minute rain delay.
It was that rain delay that finished Washington closer Troy Rallings also entered in the fifth.
“We didn’t even consider it,” Huskies coach Lindsay Meggs said. “That’s a kid who’s got a future in this game who will pitch after he leaves here. There wasn’t even any discussion.”
There was discussion with Weathersby. There was also treatment with a heating pad, stretching and observation from the team’s training staff.
“He had only thrown 10 pitches, and he hadn’t been in the bullpen very long before he came into the game,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “Another thing that helped was that he was rested. It wasn’t like he got up either of the first two days.”
Ole Miss had 11 hits but couldn’t string together big innings against any of five Washington (41-17-1) pitchers.
Freshman’s Colby Bortle’s late-season surge continued as his solo home run in the second gave the Rebels an early lead, and his RBI double in the sixth tied the game at 2.
It stayed that way until Orvis got a pitch he could turn on and reached third when his ball in the right field corner was misplayed.
“I’m just very proud of these guys who have played so hard all year long,” Bianco said. “We’ve won games different types of ways and had to do that this weekend.”