• TheDMonline.com Staff Member?
  • Log In
Share |

Mayers, Mistone lead Rebels to series win against RedHawks

Alex Edwards/The Daily Mississippian

 

SUNDAY: NO. 16 OLE MISS 2, MIAMI (OHIO) 1

After Friday night’s game had the look of a Sunday game with 17 combined runs, Sunday’s game looked more like a Friday night game as Ole Miss (9-2) clinched the weekend series against Miami (Ohio) (4-5) with a 2-1 win.

Sophomore right-hander Mike Mayers got the start and gave up no runs on four hits with five strikeouts and a walk in seven innings of work. The Grove City, Ohio, native said it was good to bounce back this weekend against a team from his home state. 

“Coach Bianco and I watched the film of last week, and yeah, I got dinged last week,” Mayers said. “But it came down to I didn’t make pitches. So that was the big focus to make sure that the whole time I’m out there, I’m making pitches and hitting my spots.”

The Rebels struck early for the second straight day when freshman shortstop Jake Overbey, who made his first start of the season, drove in his brother, sophomore first baseman Preston Overbey, on a single to left field.

Then the pitchers took over. Miami (Ohio) starter Shawn Marquardt, who tossed a complete game three-hit shutout against Michigan State the weekend before, went seven innings himself and gave up just two runs on six hits while walking two and striking out two Ole Miss batters.

The Rebels added an insurance run in the sixth, which would win the game, thanks to junior second baseman Alex Yarbrough. He reached on a hit by pitch to leadoff the inning, stole second, advanced to third on a groundball and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of junior third baseman Andrew Mistone.

Junior right-hander Brett Huber pitched into trouble in the ninth and Miami (Ohio) pushed a run across on three straight singles. A groundout to first base then moved both runners into scoring position with one out before Mistone saved at least one run on a diving catch for the second out. A groundout to Yarbrough closed it out for Huber’s fourth save of the season and the series win for the Rebels.

“He made a great play,” Huber said of the Mistone catch. “When the ball was hit, it made a funky noise and I thought it was going right at him. I look over, and his face is in the dirt. But he made the play. I had to thank him after the play.”

Ole Miss will continue their 13-game home stand Tuesday when the Rebels host the UT-Martin SkyHawks in a single game at 6:30 p.m.

SATURDAY: NO. 16 OLE MISS 11, MIAMI (OHIO) 3

A quick start lifted Ole Miss to an 11-3 win in game two against Miami (Ohio) Saturday to even the series, but the real story was on the mound, where junior right-hander RJ Hively shut out the RedHawks bats, giving up just two hits in six innings on the mound.

“I felt we played today,” head coach Mike Bianco said. “Proud of the way we came out after not playing well yesterday. When you lose on Friday night, you’ve got to respond on Saturday to even the series, and I think we did. 

“I thought RJ was tremendous, just really locating his slider. For the offense to come out in the first two innings and give us some separation made it a little easier out there.”

The Rebels put three runs on the board in the first and second innings to give Hively an early cushion. It all started when Yarbrough doubled down the right-field line to score the first two Ole Miss runs. Yarbrough later scored on a wild pitch. 

In the second, senior designated hitter Zach Kirksey added to his home run total, hitting a solo shot into the right-field student section to lead off the inning. Three straight singles plated another run, followed by a fielder’s choice to extend the Rebels’ lead to 6-0.

Then it was the Hively show.

The Huntington Beach, Calif., native didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning and picked up his second win of the season, giving up no runs on just two hits with seven strikeouts and a walk in six innings.

“I went out there and wanted to throw up a zero really quick,” Hively said. “It was one of those days where everything was in the strike zone. When you can do that, we force them to hit and with the defense we have, they make a lot of plays for us.”

Ole Miss added another run in the fifth, two in the seventh and two more in the eighth on a two-run double by junior third baseman John Gatlin.

The RedHawks scored a run of their own in the eighth off junior right-hander Blair Wright and two more in the ninth off senior left-hander Jon Andy Scott. 

FRIDAY: MIAMI (OHIO) 9, NO. 16 OLE MISS 8

Miami (Ohio) took game one of the three-game weekend series 9-8 on Friday night.

“A tough night at the ballpark,” Bianco said. “You have to give a lot of credit to Miami. I thought they did great. They were the aggressor tonight.”

The craziness began in the top of the second when Miami (Ohio) center fielder Alex Johnson singled to right field and advanced to third on a throwing error by junior right fielder Tanner Mathis that got all the way to the backstop behind the plate. The next batter singled to bring Johnson in for the first run of the game.

In the bottom of the inning, Kirksey reached on a dropped popup by the RedHawk third baseman, but the Rebels couldn’t get him home.

Then there was the third.

Miami (Ohio) scored six runs to extend the lead to 7-0. The inning was highlighted by four hits, a walk, a hit by pitch and two errors. 

“We couldn’t get out of the third inning,” Bianco said. “Certainly, they put a lot of pressure on us, but we didn’t handle it. We didn’t make some plays; we didn’t make some pitches. Another play, another pitch and we could’ve gotten out of there with a lot less pitches.”

The Rebels responded with five runs of their own in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead to two.

Back-to-back hit batters put freshman Senquez Golson and senior shortstop Blake Newalu on base, then Golson scored on a Mathis RBI single. Freshman center fielder Auston Bousfield loaded the bases with another single, and Yarbrough drove in a pair of runs with a double down the right-field line and scored himself on a RBI groundout by junior third baseman Andrew Mistone to cut the lead to 7-5.

Ole Miss tied the game with a run apiece in the fourth and fifth innings, but Miami (Ohio) wouldn’t go away.

Sophomore right-hander Bobby Wahl’s day was done after working 5.0 innings and giving up seven runs, four of which were unearned, on nine hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.

The RedHawks welcomed Wahl’s replacement, freshman right-hander Casey Mulholland, with two runs on three hits to go back ahead 9-7. Mulholland (0-1) was tagged with the loss, giving up two runs on three hits in the sixth inning.

Ole Miss scratched across a run in the seventh on a Yarbrough RBI single, but didn’t put another runner in scoring position for the rest of the game.