Brutal Battle

Veteran baseball man of playing, coaching, and broadcasting - Keith Kessinger - said it was the worst conditions he’s ever seen for a game. Yet Ole Miss played and beat Wright State 10-3 Friday to begin a three-game series.

The Rebels moved to 3-1 on the season and Christian Trent got another win. He’s 2-0 this season and 11-0 as a Rebel.

The junior left-hander went six innings, allowed only one run on five hits with a career-high nine strikeouts and one walk.

On a day when the temperature was at the freezing mark or just below all game long and there was rain throughout, Trent said you have to block that all out and pitch.

“You just have to stay focused. You can’t let the weather get to your head,” he said. “I felt good out there, but there was one inning where we scored a lot of runs (four in the fifth) that I got a little chilly. I don’t think I’ll ever pitch in anything like it again. I think that was the coldest I’ll ever pitch in right there.”

Trent had an extended outing. He threw 100 pitches in this game.

“I didn’t really feel any fatigue,” he said. “The (velocity) was a little bit down with probably the weather and getting up to 100 pitches. But I felt fine; I felt good.”

Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said despite the conditions, Trent was Trent.

“He was terrific,” Bianco said. “We challenged the kids before the game that this was one of those days that it’s tough to play. It’s tough to play any sport, let alone our sport, and let alone pitch, where it takes a lot of feel and a lot of touch, where it’s raining the whole day. It’s very cold. And he pitched so well. If you didn’t know the weather, you wouldn’t know he pitched in it. He made it look that easy.”

Bianco said the Rebel offense, with two runs in the fourth and four in the fifth, was better despite the conditions.

“They had a couple of miscues that helped us. But (WSU starter Robby) Sexton pitched really well. It was a huge at-bat by Sikes Orvis on the sac fly. Last weekend we weren’t able to get that. We were able to finish off some innings with some base hits, and that was nice to see.”

Orvis went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI. It was a big day for the senior slugger.

“Being a Florida boy, I wouldn’t say these were the most prime conditions to play baseball in,” he said. “But you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to come out here and play the game no matter what. Guys came out and really competed.

“I just kind of spun on one and hit it,” he said of the home run, which landed deep over the right field wall. “Being a power hitter, the first home run (of the season) is always the big one. I finally got that off my back now.”

Orvis said it was simply more vintage Trent in this one.

“He competed and he kept coming at them. It was awesome,” Orvis said. “It’s easy to play defense when a guy’s throwing like that.”

Sexton, one of four pitchers for WSU, got the loss.

Also pitching for the Rebels were sophomore Evan Anderson (two innings, two runs, three hits, three strikeouts, two walks), and freshman Will Stokes (one inning, one hit, one strikeout).

Sophomore Colby Bortles and freshman Kyle Watson also had two hits each in the game.

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