OXFORD, Miss. (WCBI/Ole Miss Athletics) – Jacob Waguespack a group of six pitchers Wednesday night while the Rebels’ scored efficiently on seven hits and Ole Miss (4-0) picked up a 6-0 victory over Tennessee-Martin (0-4) in the home opener at Swayze Field.
Waguespack (1-0) gave up two hits with three walks and two strikeouts in 4.0 innings of work, but got the win in a predetermined start for the Rebels as a bevy of pitchers saw action against the Skyhawks. Five other hurlers made their season debuts in the game, including Preston Tarkington, Evan Anderson, Austin Blunt, Scott Weathersby and Jeremy Massie.
Alex Boshers (0-1) took the loss for UT-Martin as he allowed only one run on two hits through 4.0 innings of work, but the Skyhawks were held off the board by the Rebel pitching staff and defense.
“It’s nice to win, but at this point we didn’t play very well,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We certainly didn’t play anywhere close to the way we did this past weekend. We looked a little nervous. One of the things we worried about at the beginning of the season, and we challenged the guys about, was to not play like we did tonight.
“This past weekend we swung freely and looked aggressive on the mound,” Bianco said. “Today, we looked a little more tentative at the plate. Some guys still looked great. Will Allen is just on fire and continues to swing. Preston Overbey had several good at-bats. On the mound, we weren’t super sharp either.”
The Rebels got on the board in the third inning when Dalton Dulin took advantage of a wild pitch with the bases loaded to sprint home. Dulin started the rally with a two-out single before a walk and a hit batter loaded the bases.
Ole Miss added to the lead in the seventh inning, again taking advantage of a Skyhawk miscue to push the lead out to 2-0. Braxton Lee opened the inning with a single and a steal before a bunt down the third base line from Auston Bousfield put runners at the corners. A walk loaded the bases before a balk would bring Lee home to take the Rebel advantage out to two runs.
The Rebels broke things open in the eighth inning, pushing four runs across the plate and successfully stealing five bases as a part of the late rally by the fastest part of the Ole Miss lineup. Dulin, Lee, Bousfield and Will Allen all drove in runs during the inning that saw eight men come to the plate.
Ole Miss led 6-0 after the big eighth inning and then shut things down once more in the ninth to pick up the win.
The Rebels will return to action on Friday, kicking off a three-game series against Georgia State at 4 p.m at Swayze Field.
Ole Miss 6, UTM 0 (Feb 19, 2014 at Oxford, Miss.)
UTM…………….. 000 000 000 – 0 4 1 (0-4)
Ole Miss………… 001 000 14X – 6 8 1 (4-0)
Pitchers: UTM – BOSHERS, Alex; ZARUBIN, Jackson(5); SKUBINA, John(6); ROSS, Chris(7) and NANTZE, Mikey; ERIE, Drew. Ole Miss – Jacob Waguespack; Tarkington(5); Evan Anderson(6); Austin Blunt(7); Scott Weathersby(8); Jeremy Massie(9) and Will Allen; Austin Knight.
Win-Jacob Waguespack(1-0) Loss-BOSHERS, Alex(0-1) T-2:45 A-6960
SKUBINA faced 3 batters in the 7th.