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February 15, 2013

Rebs use Wahl, interference to blank TCU

Auston Bousfield talks Ole Miss' 1-0 win


OXFORD, Miss. -- All of the 7,500 in attendance at Swayze Field will be talking about the play at second that ended the game Friday, but all the key characters of Ole Miss' win were concentrating on the base 90 feet away.

With one out and the bases loaded, TCU pinch hitter Keith Daniels grounded to first base, and as Austin Anderson tried to complete the double play at second, Dylan Fitzgerald collided with Anderson.

Umpire Fred Cannon immediately ruled interference, and the No. 13 Rebels celebrated a tense 1-0 win over No. 14 TCU in the season opener. Huber picked up the save, giving him the outright school record with 27, but as the action was happening, Huber was worried about his own blunder.

"I didn't see (the play at second)," Huber said."I saw Sikes (Orvis) was playing in and when I looked back Sikes was playing back and I was just standing there. I'm about to get yelled at really bad (for not covering first base). I didn't see the interference at all. Once it was hit, oh boy."

"I was freaking out for a second, but the umpire helped us out a little bit," Ole Miss starter Bobby Wahl said.

Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco added: "Tough way to lose the game, but I'm guessing you don't make that call if it wasn't obvious…. I was hoping (Huber) was going to get down there. I didn't know if he'd get there and then I saw the umpire call him out."

But while TCU would have easily tied the game without the interference, the Rebels get the first one of the three-game series between ranked teams, saving an electric effort from Wahl. The projected first-round pick shut out the Horned Frogs for 6.1 innings, striking out eight, walking three and allowing three hits.

He started the game with a 93 MPH fastball and touched 95 twice during his 96-pitch night. TCU threatened twice, but Wahl escaped both times to hand the tough-luck loss to TCU starter Brandon Finnegan.

"I was pleased with tonight," Wahl said. "I walked some and pitch count was high, but I was happy with it… I could have gone more. I felt pretty good."

The ninth started with an Anderson errant throw at shortstop that pulled Orvis off the bag, and the Horned Frogs executed a bunt single to threaten Huber. After a walk and a strikeout, Daniels rolled it to the right side of the infield.

Finnegan allowed the one unearned run in six innings with four strikeouts and two walks. He sat in the mid 90s most of the game and was able to move into all quadrants of the zone effectively.

"Finnegan really matched Wahl pitch for pitch, but we got the one run," Bianco said.

The one blemish came in the fifth when Will Jamison executed a perfect suicide squeeze to score Orvis, who started the inning with a single and moved to second on an Andrew Mistone groundout. A batter later, Orvis moved to third when TCU catcher Kyle Bacak allowed a passed ball.

"I'm really proud of Jamison getting the bunt down after not doing so in an earlier at-bat and then Sikes a great at-bat and then with some great base running, fleet of foot."

Ole Miss had an opportunity to add insurance an inning later when Auston Bousfield walked, Will Allen singled and Stuart Turner was hit by a pitch with one out. Orvis struck out and Mistone fouled out to end the inning

TCU leadoff hitter Cody Jones doubled to open the game, but a fly out and two strikeouts around a walk stranded Jones in scoring position. The Horned Frogs had two singles off Wahl in the sixth, but a 6-4-3 double play helped Wahl to his final scoreless inning.

Tanner Bailey relieved wall and retired all five batters he faced.

Bousfield reached base three times with the walk and two singles. Mistone had the only other hit in addition to Orvis and Bousfield.

"It was like a Friday night in the SEC with two good teams, and we found a way," Bianco said. "Finnegan was really excellent, and Bobby was special."

Courtesy of RebelVision

Ole Miss NEWS


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