Sweep Complete

If not for a strange ending in the finale, the Ole Miss Rebels would have completed three straight shutouts of the Lipscomb Bison. As it stands, a 5-1 Sunday win will have to do.

The Rebels defeated Lipscomb 8-0 and 3-0 in games one and two of the series and led 5-0 headed to the top of the ninth inning in the last one.

Brett Huber relieved starter Austin Wright to start the ninth. Huber, normally reliable, wasn't himself on this day and allowed two base hits and a walk before giving way to Jake Morgan. The first batter hit into what appeared to be a double play. But Alex Yarbrough pitched the ball to Blake Newalu, who tried to turn and throw to first but was unable to do so. The umpire ruled interference on the play by the Bison, and both runners were called out.

Due to the interference call, runners were put back on second and third with the score still 5-0. Then following a walk, the Bison on second ran to third, which would have loaded the bases. But there was already a Bison on third base.

But while the runner was headed back to second, Morgan threw to second to try to get the runner. But the throw was a bit high and late. Through all this, the runner at third base headed home for the only Bison run of the weekend.

Morgan was able to get the final Bison batter to strike out, and that's the way the weekend ended.

"That was a little different," said Morgan, who got his fourth save of the season. "I haven't really had that happen to me. I don't really know what that was all about."

Hamblin was 3-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored
Courtesy: Bruce Newman
Morgan was joined by hundreds of witnesses who apparently didn't know what that was all about.

"I think (the umpire) said (the Bison runner headed to second) tried to take out (Blake) Newalu," Morgan said. "So they called two outs on that (as if there were a double play) and kept the guy at second. I don't really know how that all transpired."

That the Bison got a run was a bit disappointing, according to Morgan.

"Shutouts are always great, especially when you shut out the entire weekend," he said. "But a win's a win and it feels great."

Morgan said the mindset is basically the same when a closer comes in, even if the bases are loaded and there are no outs like Sunday.

"The thought process is the exact same," he said. "Fill it up, and hopefully they'll roll two (for a double play), or strikeout and then roll two. Just go out there and see what happens. A 5-0 lead makes it a little easier."

Wright, with eight innings of no run, six hit, no walk, nine strikeout pitching, said it was his best day as a Rebel so far.

"The biggest thing with the defense we've got is to just go out and try to pound the zone," said Wright, now 2-1 on the season through four Sunday starts. "I was all around the zone with every pitch today. Definitely (the best day of his short Ole Miss career). By far."

"Just another well-pitched game by us," Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said. "Austin (Wright) was terrific. He's been really good his first thrree outings, but today he was special."

The Rebels got three runs in the bottom of the third inning. After Alex Yarbrough reached on an error by the Bison shortstop, who dropped a fly ball, Matt Smith singled, followed by a ground out from Matt Snyder which got Yarbrough home. Matt Tracy doubled to score Smith. Miles Hamblin, 3-for-4 on the day, singled to get Tracy home.

Ole Miss added a run in the fourth. With two outs, Blake Newalu reached on a hit by pitch and stole second. Tanner Mathis got aboard on an error by the Lipscomb second baseman which allowed the swift Newalu to race home.

A RBI base hit by Jordan King got a run home in the eighth. His single to left past third base scored Hamblin who had reached on a base hit and made it to second on a sac bunt by Austin Anderson.

Ole Miss improved to 13-4 on the season with its third win in a row. Lipscomb fell to 7-9.

The Rebels host Jackson State Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the lone midweek action before hosting Alabama this weekend for three games. LHP Matt Tracy will start Tuesday for the Rebs.

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