Series Lost

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Ole Miss finally scored a couple of runs but it was way too little too late for an offense struggling mightily. Vanderbilt won game two of the series, pulling away in the late innings for a 6-2 victory.

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Sikes Orvis, 1-for-1 each night of this series so far, had a RBI double for the Rebels in eighth to get Ole Miss a run for the first time since a loss at Arkansas State Tuesday night.

The freshman, appearing in 30 games so far this season and starting three, said remaining positive is a key for this offense.

"We're battling just as hard as we can," Orvis said. "Baseball's a funny game. A lot of failure. Tonight both teams were struggling. Then they put up a four-spot up. The big thing is to keep grinding and have good ABs, quality at-bats, and just see what happens."

Lately, that hasn't been much. The Rebels hadn't scored in 18 innings, dating back to the last two innings in Jonesboro, Ark.

As for himself, Orvis, who had his first collegiate home run last weekend, is confident these days.

"I'm swinging the bat really well," he said. "I feel good."

The same cannot be said for most of his teammates. Even Alex Yarbrough has found the going rough, 0-for-9 the last two nights.

Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said had the Rebels gotten anything going early, it might have been different.

"Tough game for us," he said.

R.J. Hively is set to start Saturday's finale
Bruce Newman

Offensively he said his team doesn't appear to be confident currently.

"We swung it better the last couple of innings," he said. "Hopefully that will lead us into tomorrow. We had opportunities to score but couldn't do it."

The game was scoreless through the top of the seventh, but it appeared, as was the case with Thursday night's 3-0 Vanderbilt win, it was only a matter of time. The Rebels simply could not get anything done offensively.

On the mound, the Ole Miss starters were terrific both nights. First Bobby Wahl gave his team a chance to win Thursday night. Mike Mayers, with six innings and only an earned run on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks, was equally good Friday night.

"My changeup was working," he said. "Doesn't matter how hard you're throwing it, if it's working you can keep guys off balance. Doesn't matter how good they are that night. Gave up a hit up the middle, bounced right over my head and I thought I should have had it."

But he didn't and after that he was gone.

"I definitely felt great," said Mayers, with the loss falling to 4-3. "But at that time Coach Bianco chose to go with Chris (Ellis). Chris has been great all year."

But the bullpen wasn't effective enough with a Rebel offense that could really give them no help. Ellis went a third of an inning, allowing two earned runs. Hawtin Buchanan went 1.1 innings and allowed three earned runs. Sam Smith finished the game with no damage.

Ole Miss actually had nine hits to Vandy's 11.

Tomorrow is another day. For an Ole Miss baseball team that is on the brink of closing its regular season with its worst slide of the campaign, it is an important day.

R.J. Hively draws the start for the Rebels (34-21, 14-15 SEC). Aaron Greenwood, Brett Huber, and others are available. Vanderbilt is 28-25 and 15-14 SEC.

Game time is 2 p.m.

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