Claiming The Series

After a game that its pitching had struggled, Brady Bramlett was just what the Ole Miss Rebels needed in the nightcap. Ole Miss had lost 8-1 to William and Mary in game two of the weekend series. Half an hour later, Bramlett took the mound. From the get-go, he was on.

With help from his offense, the Rebels led 8-0 after three innings and never looked back in a lopsided 16-2 victory.

“I was so happy to be back out there on the field,” said the third-year sophomore, who hadn’t pitched since April, 2013, and since then had shoulder surgery and a lengthy recovery. “When the offense scores that many runs, it’s easy to kind of cruise a little bit.”

There were zeroes in the first four innings for Bramlett while his offensive teammates built a 9-0 lead. He allowed a couple of runs in the fifth but was able to stop the bleeding and get through it, pitch through six innings, and feel good about what he had done.

“It was like I had a mental lapse out there,” said Bramlett, who allowed only two runs on four hits through those six frames with eight strikeouts and no walks. “Coach (Mike Bianco) came out there and I settled back in. That was one of the moments where he said for me to up my game. So I was able to do that.”

Bramlett’s last live action was against Arkansas State in late April, 2013. He was willing to pitch as long as he could in this one.

“I was just going as long as my arm was feeling OK,” he said.

Bianco was pleased for Bramlett and also appreciative that the performance he gave his team allowed the Rebels to get back to playing more like themselves. They’d beaten William and Mary 9-4 in Friday’s season opener. But they’d played poorly in all phases, according to Bianco, in Saturday’s first game of the day.

“It was a good job by us bouncing back,” Bianco said of the series finale. “It was really an awful game in game one (Saturday) where we just didn’t do anything to win the game in any phase. We were terrible defensively, on the mound, offensively. We had opportunities but we couldn’t make anything happen. We did nothing. That’s disappointing to do that but encouraging to bounce back in game two. Certainly we needed an effort like that from Bramlett to shut them down for a few innings and let us swing.”

After Bramlett gave up a leadoff double, he had a solid first inning with no other activity.

In the bottom of the first inning, J.B. Woodman doubled to left and scored on a double by Errol Robinson for a 1-0 Rebel lead.

In the top of the third inning, Robinson singled to score Cameron Dishon, who beat out an infield hit. Henri Lartigue, 4-for-10 on the weekend, singled to right. Sikes Orvis then got his first hit of the season, after a 0-for-8 start, to score Robinson that made it 3-0.

Colby Bortles, 3-for-5 in game three with five RBI and two runs scored, then singled and reached second on a throwing error which scored Lartigue, followed by a Holt Perdzock single to score Orvis. Kyle Watson then doubled to score Bortles. That made it 6-0.

Josh Watkins got a base hit to get both Perdzock and Watson home to make it 8-0, and that’s the way things stood after three complete.

A fourth-inning Bortles RBI double pushed the Rebel lead to 9-0.

In the bottom of the fifth, after the Tribe had scored its two runs, Woodman drove in Watson with a double after Watson was hit by a pitch to reach. That made it 10-2 Rebels.

Will Golsan’s first hit as a Rebel was a RBI single in the bottom of the sixth that made things 11-2 in favor of the home team. Bortles’ 3-run home run capped a four-run seventh for Ole Miss and made it 16-2.

Robinson was 4-for-5 in the finale with three RBI and three runs scored. Woodman was 3-for-4 in game three with a RBI and two runs scored.

Bramlett got the win, while starter Mitchell Aker got the loss for the Tribe.

Pitching letdowns and unforced errors were to blame for the loss in game one on Saturday. A lack of offensive production contributed heavily as well.

Ole Miss got 18 hits in the finale but only five hits in the first game on Saturday.

Sam Smith picked up the loss, while Nick Brown got the win for William and Mary.

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