MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Brett Bukvich continued his fine pitching and got his third win in a row as Ole Miss beat Memphis 8-4 at chilly Autozone Park Tuesday night.
The tall freshman left-hander from Jackson went six innings, with two runs, neither earned, along with five strikeouts and no walks in temperatures that dipped into the 30s.
"I got ahead of hitters and was spotting, working in and out," said Bukvich, now 3-2 on the season. "It seemed like everything was working for me out there."
Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said it was indeed another impressive game for Bukvich.
"Certainly with outings like that you're looking now at maybe getting some innings from him on the weekends either as a starter or reliever," Bianco said. "He's really commanded the zone and shown a great changeup and tonight a slider. Last week he was a fastball, changeup guy. This week he was a three-pitch guy and used both sides of the plate. When you do that on a night like this when it's tough to hit, it really can make a difference."
Bukvich said the cold is fine with him.
"This is my favorite weather to pitch in," Bukvich said. "My first game to pitch in high school was like this. My first appearance in college was too. So I like this weather. It doesn't bother me."
The Rebels, who outhit the Tigers 9 to 8, broke open a scoreless game in the top of the fourth inning as Alex Presley doubled to drive in Chris Coghlan who had walked. Mark Wright then sent the ball some 347 feet into the right field bleachers to give the Rebels a 3-0 lead. Wright finished the game 3-for-4 with a double, the lone home run, and three RBI.
"It's always fun to play here," said Wright, who went to nearby Germantown High. "This could be a good jumpstart for me and the team. At least I hope so."
Memphis, with five errors on the night, scored a run in the bottom of the fourth to pull to within two runs at 3-1 when Bill Moss doubled to the left field wall to score Michael Murray who had reached on a Rebel error.
In the top of the fifth, Ole Miss moved back out by three runs as Coghlan reached second on a single and a throwing error by the right fielder which scored Justin Henry who had reached on a previous Tiger error and then stole second.
After the Tigers cut the Rebel lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Ole Miss got the run back in the top of the seventh when C.J. Ketchum grounded out, scoring JoJo Tann from third. Tann was pinch-running for pinch-hitter Cody Overbeck who doubled and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Henry. The Rebel led was 5-2.
Memphis got a run back in the bottom of the seventh, and Ole Miss tacked on a couple of runs in the top of the eighth. A couple of intentional walks by the Tigers (Wright and Justin Brashear) after a Zack Cozart walk put pinch hitter Logan Power at the plate. Power flew out to center to score Cozart for a 6-3 Ole Miss lead.
Tann was up next and an error on the Tiger second baseman allowed Tann to reach and Wright to score for a 7-3 Rebel lead heading to the bottom of the eighth.
Tommy Baumgardner entered the game for reliever Will Kline (who pitched the seventh) to start the bottom of the eighth and had some early trouble. The Tigers got only one run, however, as Baumgardner got things together and stopped the Tiger rally. The Rebels added a run in the top of the ninth for the four-run lead as Garrett White came in to close it out in the bottom of the frame.
Starter Stephen Gostkowski (1-2), one of five pitchers used by Memphis, got the loss for the Tigers.
Ole Miss heads to Tuscaloosa, Ala., this weekend for a three-game Southeastern Conference series with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Gametimes are set for 6:30 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Bianco said Cody Satterwhite would start the Friday game and Lance Lynn the Sunday game. Saturday's Rebel starter is TBA.
Ole Miss beats Memphis 8-4
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