Mike Bianco got straight to the point in the evaluation of his team’s 4-3 loss to Memphis. And with six errors committed, who could disagree?
By: Jeff Roberson, OMSpirit.com
“Not to take anything away from Memphis, because I thought they played very well tonight,” Bianco said. “But I thought we played terrible. Six errors on the board gave us no opportunity to win the game.”
Then he stopped himself, realizing the Rebels were nearly able to overcome all the miscues.
“It’s hard to hide six errors,” Bianco said. “And we almost did.”
The Rebels fell behind 1-0 in the top of the second inning but came back with two runs on RBI singles from Preston Overbey and Lance Wilson to move ahead 2-1 after two complete.
After Memphis tied it in the fourth, the Rebels came back with a run in the fifth when Auston Bousfield doubled to score Austin Anderson who had walked before him.
The Tigers got another run to tie the game 3-3 in the top of the sixth inning. But it was a brutal eighth for the Rebels defensively that opened the door again for Memphis.
Normally as solid a third baseman as there is in the game, it was Andrew Mistone who had two critical errors in that inning, and he totaled three miscues on the day.
Anderson at shortstop also was credited with an error in the eighth. Prior to that, Lance Wilson at second base and Stuart Turner with catcher’s interference were the others with errors.
“We deserved to lose. Six errors? I blame myself,” Mistone said. “We’re a good fielding team and a good playing team. It’s baseball and you’ve got to show up every day. You have to show up and play the game. There’s no excuse to blame it on anything.”
Memphis seemed to put some pressure on the Rebel defense. The Tigers would get a player on base and immediately attempt to move him into scoring position.
“They had speed on the base paths, and they took advantage of that,” Mistone said. “They did a good job getting that first guy on and going from there.”
Josh Laxer, the Rebel starter, went three innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on four hits with three walks and a strikeout. Matt Denny relieved him and went three innings with no earned runs but one unearned run, as well as a strikeout.
Scott Weathersby went 1.2 innings with one unearned run on two hits with two strikeouts. Tanner Bailey pitched the last 1.1 innings with a hit and two strikeouts.
“Denny did a great job with the bases loaded and a no outs jam and gets out of it with just one run,” Bianco said. “I thought Weathersby was terrific. I thought (Tanner) Bailey was terrific.”
Memphis outhit the Rebels nine to seven. But it was the Rebel defense that didn’t show up on this day. Mistone said that’s true but the Tigers deserve some credit as well.
“They came out from the start and wanted to kick our butts,” Mistone said. “Like Coach (Bianco) said, we were lucky it was as close as it was. We’ll bounce back tomorrow.”
Freshman right-hander Brady Bramlett is the scheduled starter for Ole Miss Wednesday against Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 4 p.m.