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May 23, 2013

Notes: Rebels end SEC stay

HOOVER, Ala. -- Tenth innings haven't been kind to Ole Miss in the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

A day after a wild pitch resulted in a 2-1 loss to Arkansas, the Rebels (37-22) surrendered two runs in the 10th to Alabama (34-25), and the Crimson Tide ended Ole Miss' stay in Hoover with a 7-5 win. The Rebels now await their regional designation, which will be announced Monday.

"If you don't play well here you lose," Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said. "That's what happened. We haven't played poorly, but not well enough to beat those teams. Every time we opened the door Alabama got the big hit."

Tanner Bailey walked Kyle Overstreet with one out, and Ben Moore hit a double down the line, as Bailey struggled with command. Brett Huber entered and gave up the decisive single, an up-the-middle shot to Mikey White.

"Just not enough pitches in the strike zone (by Bailey)," Bianco said. "We threw a bunch of sliders in the strike zone and hoped (Moore) would hit it at somebody, but he pulled it down the line."

Ole Miss scored three runs in the second and two in the seventh but couldn't run Alabama starter Spencer Turnbull early when he was struggling. The Madison Central product settled in and lasted into the seventh inning.

Andrew Mistone and Preston Overbey hit doubles in the second inning, and Will Jamison brought in two RBI with a single that scored one on the hit and another when the throw in went wild of the plate.

Trailing 5-3 at the time, Stuart Turner tied the game with a 2-out single to score Tanner Mathis and Jamison. Turner's hit came against Alabama reliever Mitch Greer, who had just entered for Turnbull.

The Rebels came close to taking the lead in the eighth, but Alabama third baseman Kenny Roberts snagged a Will Allen line drive and converted the double play to end the inning.

"Just a great play," Bianco said. "It would have been a different game."

WAGS STRUGGLES SECOND TIME THROUGH ORDER: There's a common theme in Jacob Waguespack's two starts this season: The second time through the order has been the issue.

The freshman right-hander sat down nine straight Alabama hitters to start the game Thursday, but a walk, a single, two fly outs, a single and another walk welcomed Waguespack in the fourth inning, ending his morning.

"I felt good but fell behind in counts," Waguespack said. "I tried to pound the zone and get some ground balls and get out of the inning."

The Crimson Tide struck for two runs during that stretch and added one in the fifth and two in the sixth off Scott Weathersby. Waguespack threw 59 pitches, 33 strikes, and he struck out three with those two walks. The Dutchtown, La., native sat 86-89 MPH with his fastball and a 74-76 MPH curve he spotted in the early innings.

Waguespack made his first career start nine days ago at Southern Mississippi and similarly threw three scoreless innings before USM's first two batters reached in the fourth. Waguespack came out then, but both runs eventually scored.

Waguespack had six appearance on the year, allowing seven earned runs in 16.2 innings.

"We knew he'd challenge them and throw the ball without fear in the strike zone," Bianco said. "He's getting better and stronger each time out."

GET READY FOR REGIONAL: Bobby Wahl would have started against the LSU/Arkansas loser on Friday had Ole Miss won, but now he'll throw a simulated bullpen at some point to get on schedule for regional play.

Wahl had been out of routine the final two weeks of the regular season, and he didn't pitch in Hoover.

"He'll just have a simulated bullpen, but he needed the rest, as well," Bianco said. "Unfortunately we didn't stay here long enough for him to pitch, but not pitching for him isn't a bad thing at all right now."


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