The Rebels gathered at Creighton's old home ballpark – the Blue Jays now play home games at TD Ameritrade Park downtown – to move on from Sunday night and to practice for the elimination game.
But the Rebels, after an opening game loss to Virginia Sunday night, are viewing it as a winner moves on game. It's the way they've approached the entire season, especially after losing any contest. Like last weekend in Lafayette. La., when they lost game one and won the next two.
"It's nice to have a day off and to get to come out here and practice, flush last night," said Auston Bousfield, under cloudy skies and threatening conditions at the facility on the Creighton campus near downtown. "Come out here today, get a little bit better, and get ready for tomorrow."
Bousfield said the team is ready to bounce back against the Red Raiders, who lost Sunday to TCU.
"I think we're fine. On the bus everyone was fine, nobody was down. Like we've done all year, we've bounced back really well. We'll be ready to go tomorrow."
Bousfield made one of the most spectacular catches of this year's College World Series so far. It was an over the shoulder highlight that was the third out of the seventh inning and stranded two Cavalier runners, who already led 1-0 at the time.
"I turned my head and I wasn't really sure if I was going to get there," Bousfield said. "It hung up just enough, and I was able to get under it. I just ran as hard as I could, looked up, and it was right underneath me."
The Way It Ended
Cavalier star and leading hitter Mike Papi's walkoff double in the bottom of the ninth ended the game. In the fifth inning Papi had walked and Joe McCarthy followed with a RBI single for the game's first run.
Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco talked about it Monday morning.
"The tough thing about their lineup is you've got those three (left-handed) guys (Papi, McCarthy, Derek Fisher). I like Mike. He's a terrific player. Of all those guys, he's probably the guy you want to face the least.
"The thing that I regret more was that I should have gone out and talked to Aaron," Bianco continued. "What we chose to do is let's pitch (Papi) real tough. If we walk him, then we'll pitch Joe McCarthy real tough. If we walk him, then we can go to (Derek) Fisher. I thought Aaron pitched great against him. He was one pitch away from getting out of it. It wasn't necessarily that we were going to pitch to him rather than go to McCarthy. With the base open you have the option. So if you end up walking him, you're OK. If you intentionally walk him, you go to McCarthy, and now you're more limited if you walk him. I just thought we'd pitch him tough, We were one pitch away. That's why he's a first-rounder and a terrific player.
"So I don't regret that. I don't think it was either or. I think it was just a decision where we got beat. It was worse to walk the first guy (in the inning), the nine-hole guy (Brandon Downes). The key to the inning wasn't about Papi. It was more about in the bottom of the ninth, you have to attack the nine-hole guy."
On To Tuesday
Now the Rebels' attention turns to Tuesday and the Red Raiders.
"Somebody always comes out of the loser's bracket. It's only a four-team bracket," Bianco said. "So it's not like the uphill battle is not attainable. What gives you a break are the days in between. You've got the starting pitching. When you get in the loser's bracket, it's not just the starting pitching but it's the bullpen that gets taxed a lot. With the day off, certainly that helps."
So now they go about approaching things that way, looking at each day off as an integral part of what they're trying to accomplish, and moving on to the next game the day after that.
"In this type tournament, you handle things a little differently than in a Regional," he said. "Obviously we'll be able to watch yesterday's tape and get that done. We have time to do that."
Bianco was ready to get his team back together this morning and focus their energies all on Texas Tech.
"We spent a few minutes in right field (after the loss to Virginia), and then I spoke with them a couple of minutes. I would be very surprised if they haven't been like they've been all year. They've always answered the bell," he said. "One of the things the SEC does for you is you get kicked in the mouth so many times in our league, you've got to be able to get up off the mat. We've been able to do that and respond all year long."
So now it's all about Tuesday, surviving, and moving on to the third game. But first things first.
"The thing is let's not worry three or four games down the road and what can happen," Bianco said. "Let's win Tuesday. Let's do that first."
On To Tuesday
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