'No Chance to Win'

Mike Bianco called it like he saw it in Ole Miss' 7-3 loss to Western Kentucky Wednesday night. And what he saw wasn't pretty.

"A bad game, a bad effort all the way around," said Bianco after his team fell to 10-4, its third loss in a row. "Today was really disappointing in a sense that I thought we gave ourselves no chance to win. Even playing as poorly as we did, it was 4-3 in the seventh and we had a shot. But we let that slide."

At that point Western Kentucky was able to tack on an insurance run in each of the final three frames to wrap this one up and take back home to Bowling Green.

"It was all phases," Bianco said. "On the mound we walked too many people. We gave up too many hits. And defensively for the first time we don't look confident in the field. We only make one error, but on some plays I thought the scoreboard was generous. Certainly some plays we made harder than they needed to be. And then we don't defend the steal. And that's something we've worked hard on. Tonight when they needed to steal they were able to steal, and it was really not contested.

"Offensively we just look very unconfident at the plate," he continued. "Just will not swing. We'll get to work tomorrow and be a different club this weekend."

The Rebels host Lipscomb University for three games Friday at 6:30 p.m., Saturday at 1:30 p.m., and Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Ironically the Rebel pitching staff as a whole had a season-high 12 strikeouts. But it was difficult from the start as Matt Tracy made it through 3.1 innings, allowing four runs on six hits with six strikeouts and three walks. Western Kentucky got three runs in the second inning, and Ole Miss was playing catch up the rest of the night.

Actually the Rebels were fortunate WKU didn't score more in that productive second. The Hilltoppers left the bases loaded as Tracy finally got out of it.

Ole Miss was able to finally get on the scoreboard in the third. Alex Yarbrough singled to right field to score Austin Anderson who had singled. Anderson, a true freshman, was playing shortstop in this game.

After Western Kentucky (7-5) added a run in the fourth to increase its lead to 4-1, Ole Miss came back in the fifth to cut the gap to just a run.

True freshman Will Allen and junior Taylor Hightower had back to back doubles with one out. A ground out by Tanner Mathis got Allen home. Another Yarbrough single got Hightower home.

But that's when the Hilltoppers were able to add a run in each of the last three innings.

The two teams were supposed to play a game Tuesday night but rain forced its cancellation. Ole Miss will likely make the game up sometime this season but not likely against the Hilltoppers.

Yarbrough was 2-for-5 with 2 RBI in the contest and is one of the few Rebels who currently looks confident at the plate.

"I knew I was going to get something to hit, got the foot down and was on time for it," said the sophomore second baseman of his at-bats.

Yarbrough said the team isn't necessarily lacking confidence right now, but there does need to be some movement toward being more productive.

"We need to just pick up our sense of urgency," he said. "It seems like even in some of the games we've won, we're still falling behind and early in the game it's tough for us to get started. So (we need) a higher sense of urgency for the whole offense to just attack, especially early in the at-bats."

Ole Miss had only eight hits while the Hilltoppers had 11.

Bianco went with some youth in this one. Yarbrough, in his second season, was the veteran of the infield. True freshman Allen was at first base, true froshAnderson got the nod at shortstop, and first-year Rebel Preston Overbey was at third, as usual.

Mike Mayers relieved Tracy in the fourth and pitched two innings of one-hit, no-run baseball, along with just one walk and four strikeouts.

A bright spot? Mayers would be that in this one.

"Keeps doing a good job. Got to be proud of him," Bianco said. "A (true) freshman that because of the injuries (to others) is seeing more innings, innings that we need him and are big. He came in and kept the score intact and did what we needed him to do."

After Tracy and Mayers, on the mound the rest of the way for Ole Miss were Blair Wright, Brett Huber, and Eric Callender.

WKU starter Brian Edelen (1-0) got the win. Tracy fell to 1-1 with the loss.

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