Lack of Productivity

Ole Miss couldn't hit and score runs, so Tulane took the series this weekend, capped by a 3-1 Green Wave win on Sunday.

Ole Miss couldn't hit and score runs, so Tulane took the series this weekend, capped by a 3-1 Green Wave win on Sunday.

Ole Miss scored only two runs in the final 18 innings over the weekend, losing the back side of the series after winning game one Friday night 5-1. Tulane won 4-1 Saturday.

"Just another tough day at the plate," Ole Miss Coach Mike Bianco said of his team, now 10-3.

The flip side of things is that the Rebels pitched well much of the weekend, especially Sunday. Tulane, now 9-3, got only five hits in the finale.

"I thought Austin Wright competed well," Bianco said of his starter, who went 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with five strikeouts and four walks. "He wasn't real clean as far as certain batters. But he really competed hard."

Mike Mayers relieved Wright for two innings and allowed only a hit and no runs with two strikeouts. Brett Huber finished things up in winning fashion as he normally does, with an inning and two-thirds of no-run baseball. He actually did walk two and had a couple of strikeouts.

Wright got the loss to fall to 1-1. Tulane starter Alex Byo (1-0) got the win.

"I didn't have my best stuff today," said Wright, the junior left-hander. "I just went out there and tried to find the zone. When they got (runners) on, they scored runs."

Tanner Mathis
Courtesy: Bruce Newman
But the problem in this one was the Rebels' lack of hitting, and certainly productivity. Bianco was dismayed by his team's offensive approach at the plate. The Rebels got just six hits and struggled all day.

"The disappointing thing for me as a coach is that today I thought we were tentative," he said. "Today we just didn't swing. We looked like we were scared to make mistakes, and we swung at bad pitches. (Tulane) showed why their pitching staff is so good and why their ERA is so low. They kept attacking the zone and mixing it up with all different kinds of pitches."

Bottom line, according to Bianco?

"They didn't get many hits either. They were just more efficient than we were," he said.

Tulane went up 1-0 in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by shortstop Garrett Cannizaro that allowed cleanup hitter Jeremy Schaffer to score after he doubled to lead off the frame and moved to third on a sac bunt by Briggs Barrios.

It was the same combination that got Tulane its next two runs, this time in the fourth inning. Schaffer again doubled to start things off, moved to third on a wild pitch from Wright during Barrios' at-bat, then scored on a base hit up the middle by Cannizaro.

"Schaffer is just a force at the plate," Bianco said. "He had three doubles today, and he scored on two of them."

Matt Tracy's solo home run in the seventh over the right field fence was the Rebels' lone score of the contest.

Besides Tracy's homer, the Rebels only got a runner to second once more in the entire contest. That was Tracy again, this time in the fifth inning when he singled and Alex Yarbrough got him to second with a single.

Tulane pitchers faced the minimum in six of the Rebels' nine at-bats.

Bianco drew on some positives but in the end said the result was obvious, given the way his team performed offensively.

"We played real good defense again," he said; both teams were errorless Sunday. "But when you don't score, it's tough to win."

The Rebels host Western Kentucky two games this week, Tuesday and Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Tracy and Mayers are the likely starters for Ole Miss on the mound.

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