Series Winner

Usually 12-3 leads are enough to win. That was the case for Ole Miss against Kentucky Saturday. But things got a lot closer before the Rebels finally won 12-10.

Bobby Wahl made his second closer appearance in two days, and it took his performance to get his team a win.

Tanner Mathis, 3-for-4 on the day with three runs scored, said he knew how good Wahl could be once he got well from an arm injury early in the season.

"He's great," Mathis said. "He was one of the hardest guys to face all fall. Explosive fast ball. Solid offspeed. He's a great competitor and great athlete."

Ole Miss Coach Mike Bianco said there was little hesitation putting Wahl back in for a second straight game since he was needed.

"I wouldn't say concerned," Bianco said. "Anxious to see how he would respond. But if you're going to be the closer, you've got to do that. We didn't think we'd use him earlyon, but it gets to 12-7 and they get a couple of more guys in and you've got to put your best guy out there. It was going to happen eventually that he was going to pitch back to back days. It just happened to be today."

Bianco said Wahl seems to be settling into a closer role, something the former starter isn't that used to.

"He looks like it," he said. "He looks terrific out there. I don't know how he felt today. We didn't even ask him. But he looked great, and he looked like he was going to win the game. There are guys who look like that, and it's nice to have a guy like that at the end of the game."


David Goforth got his 2nd win of 2011
Bruce Newman
Ole Miss led 12-3 through six innings. But Kentucky exploded for seven runs the next two innings to close the gap to two runs.

Ole Miss (22-14, 7-7 SEC) had 14 hits in the game as did the Wildcats (17-19, 2-12).

"We're really swinging it pretty well," Bianco said. "I know we only scored three runs (Friday) night (in a 3-2 UM win). I thought we had several good at-bats. For three weeks now we've swung it pretty good."

"We really swung it well today," said Matt Smith, 2-for-4 with 3 RBI. We got it going in the first. In the end, the offense was what won it for us."

Bianco normally says "a great college baseball game" or "another typical game in the Southeastern Conference." Not after this one.

"A crazy baseball game, but it happens every day in our league," he said. "It's not as a coach anything that you want to see. But look at it (Friday) night. So many teams had leads and gave up big innings. I wish we had done a few things differently, but at the end of the day, it was all hits (by Kentucky to get back in it).

"It wasn't like we made errors or walked people," Bianco continued. "You've got to credit Kentucky. Much like we had done earlier in the game, they did the same in the latter part of the game. They swung it well, and it was tough for us to get through it."

Bianco's team looks for the sweep on Sunday, which hasn't happened through four SEC weekends thus far for Ole Miss.

"Just like any other, it's one of 30 games and it's an opportunity to sweep and go up three games in the win column against somebody," he said. "It's really a three-game swing. It's big statistically for a lot of reasons, and for us we haven't played well. So to get a sweep would be big."

Smith said the 3-2 win Friday followed by a 12-10 win Saturday means a sweep is potentially in the offing, which he agrees would be huge.

"We'll take them anyway we can get them," the fifth-year senior said. "We've won the series, which is what you always want to do. But if we can take three from a team, that will put us right back in the mix of things and right where we need to be and want to be."

Game three is at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.


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