By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said he’d never seen a game end like that, but he hopes to see many more play out with such strong pitching.
If they end the same way? He’ll take that, too.
In a bases-loaded, one-out situation, TCU’s Dylan Fitzgerald was called for interference on the basepath while moving from first to second. The awarded double play ended the game with a 1-0 opening day win Friday for the No. 13-ranked Rebels.
A Swayze Field crowd of 7,520 watched Brett Huber become the school’s career saves leader, over-coming a leadoff error by shortstop Austin Anderson that helped leave the door open for No. 14 TCU.
The double play call was made by second base umpire Fred Cannon of Tupelo.
“I’m assuming you don’t make that call unless it’s pretty obvious for the umpire,” Bianco said.
As the play was unfolding, Bianco was looking to see if Huber would make it to first in time cover the bag for the double play.
“I was hoping he was going to get down there,” Bianco said.
Huber, with a late start, was pretty sure he wasn’t going to get there.
“I was like, ‘I’m about to get yelled at real bad after this game,’” Huber said.
The most yelling was like a shout of joy from starting pitcher Bobby Wahl who at best would have had a no-decision had the game extended.
Wahl was on a strict pitch count and threw 96 over 61⁄3 innings, giving up just three hits, striking out eight and walking three.
Tanner Bailey pitched 12⁄3 innings of hitless, scoreless relief before Huber took over in the ninth.
The save was the 27th for Huber as he passed Stephen Head.
Ole Miss (1-0) scored the game’s only run with a bit of small ball against TCU left-hander Brandon Finnegan in the fifth.
Sikes Orvis singled, moved to second on a hit-and-run with Andrew Mistone and took third on a passed ball.
Orvis scored on a squeeze bunt by Auston Bousfield.
It was the sixth meeting – split three wins each – in a year between the two teams who opened the 2012 season with two games in Fort Worth, then played three times in the College Station Regional.