Pitching To Victory

Bobby Wahl, Dylan Chavez, and Brett Huber combined for a two-hit shutout Friday afternoon as Ole Miss beat North Carolina-Wilmington 2-0.

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"The story of the game was Bobby," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco of his Friday starter. "He was tremendous and pitched much like we think he can pitch week in and week out. And not just so much about the numbers, but being aggressive into the zone and the stuff. I just thought he felt real comfortable out there."

Wahl's numbers were indeed good, however. Nine strikeouts with two walks and only one hit. His two walks came in the top of the first inning, so his recovery was quite impressive after that.

He did have two throwing errors on potential pickoff plays. Besides that, he was fairly sensational against a solid non-conference ballclub.

"The biggest thing for me was just locating down," Wahl said. "The first guy walked, which wasn't the plan obviously. But the big thing was just to throw strikes and let the defense work. They did a great job tonight."

Wahl, a sophomore, went seven innings, which was by far his longest outing as a Rebel.

"I felt pretty good (at the end of seven innings)," Wahl said. "I was actually wanting Coach (Bianco) to send me back out there for one more inning. But that's how it is. Chavez and Huber did a great job. Coach makes correct decisions all the time."

The Rebels picked up their first run in the bottom of the third inning. A RBI single by Alex Yarbrough drove in Tanner Mathis who had also singled in the inning.

Andrew Mistone
Bruce Newman

Mathis scored again in the seventh, reaching on an error by the UNC-W second baseman and advancing to second base on that error. Up next was Auston Bousfield who singled to score Mathis.

And that was all the scoring for the day.

Bousfield, Yarbrough, and Andrew Mistone each had two hits for the Rebels.

Wahl (2-0) said sometimes games just go like this, where the pitchers have to be at their best since the opposing pitchers are also having a solid outing.

"We just continue to have faith in our offense," said Wahl after the Rebels got seven hits off UNC-W starting pitcher Mat Batts (0-1)) and reliever Ricky Holden. "That's a great group of guys. I know they are going to come around, even if it's one or two runs. I just continue to battle, and do it for those guys."

Chavez pitched the eighth, allowing just a hit with a strikeout, facing four batters.

"We knew coming in they were a good hitting team," said Chavez, a junior college transfer and a left-hander. "I knew I had to go in make good pitches. That's really what we did today, and I'm really proud of this staff. We really threw well today."

Huber closed it out with ease today, unlike at TCU a week ago when he struggled but managed to finish a 7-4 season-opening victory for the Rebels.

"I guess that last time was first-game jitters," Huber said after his second save of 2012. "I just needed to settle down, and being in front of your home crowd helps a lot, too. That student section, probably 3,000 students out there. It's good to get out here and win a close game again."

The Rebels (3-1) and the Seahawks (2-3) play game two of this series Saturday at 3 p.m. Sunday's finale is set for 12 noon.

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