By Adam Brown
Ole Miss punches their ticket into the semifinals round of the SEC Tournament after a 4-1 win over the Vanderbilt Commodores on Friday.
“Just very proud of the guys, especially Tyler,” head coach Mike Bianco said. “(Tyler) had Tommy John surgery a little over a year ago, right before last year’s season, and battled back from that. He’s been an important part, an important piece of our bullpen, but his year, like a lot of guys from surgery, has been up and down. He’s had some really good outings and some outings where he struggled a little bit.”
Senior Tyler Myers took the mound against the Commodores and was electric against a high-powered offense. Myers set a new career-high with 7.0 innings pitched, surrendered one run on five hits, struck out six and walked one in the victory.
“Words can’t describe it right now,” Myers said. “I’m so excited, so happy — extremely blessed for the opportunity that I was able to get the ball tonight and shine.”
In the first inning, Myers allowed two hits then retired the next six batters until the third. The Commodores got their second pair of hits.
“(I) just trust everything I have for my three pitches and just know that I have a great defense behind me and just have that relationship with my catcher, and he helped me tighten my head mentally and just stay strong,” Myers said.
The Rebels offense attacked Vanderbilt’s starter Jack Leiter in 6.2 innings of work. Leiter surrendered three runs on three hits.
Ole Miss (41-18) got on the scoreboard in the second inning, as left fielder Kevin Graham got on base by a hit-by-pitch followed by a walk by Tim Elko. They both came in to score after a walk by Peyton Chatagnier and a sac fly off the barrel of Cade Sammons.
In the seventh, the Rebels tacked on a run as Hayden Leatherwood came around after a hit by a pitch on an RBI base hit by TJ McCants.
Graham added the last run with a solo home run to right field in the eighth that gave Ole Miss a 4-0 lead. He finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Bianco brought Brandon Johnson in to pitch in the seventh and picked up the save working 2.0 complete innings with no runs on one hit.
In the eighth, Vanderbilt scratched for a run to erase the no hitter.
Ole Miss and Arkansas will meet on the diamond on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.