Kline strikes out Raiders as Rebs win

That Wright State lost on the game's only error almost felt like a bit of an injustice, given the fact that the Raiders had played so well in their season opener. Remember, they hadn't been outside to practice or play since fall. At all.

But what would have been an even bigger shame would have been if Ole Miss had lost the game, given the way Will Kline had pitched before being relieved to start the ninth by effective closer Scott Bittle.

The Rebel ace had a collegiate-high 13 strikeouts in eight innings, and the Raiders had only three hits off Kline all day. Two of the three came off the bat of Brian Shoup. The fifth-year senior admitted one of those was even a bit questionable.

"It was basically a check swing," he said of his double in the fifth inning that led to Wright State's first run in its 3-2 loss. "Luckily it got down the (third base) line. It did break up a no-hitter."

When Kline pitches, no-hitters should be considered a possibility. He may never have one in his Ole Miss career, but today was pretty close.

The two hits by Shoup and a solo home run by Ross Oeder was all the offense the Raiders could muster.

"It was just a fast ball down the middle, and (Oeder) did a good job with it," said Kline of the homer.

Six of Kline's strikeouts in the contest were of the "looking" kind. He said that even after more than 100 pitches - he ended the game with 107 - he still felt fine.

"I wasn't tired, and I still felt great," said the Tupelo High product, who walked just two and was charged with earned runs both times the Raiders crossed the plate. "My eighth inning was actually one of my best."

In the eighth he duplicated what he had done in the second - struck out three Raider batters three up three down.

"He was unbelievable," said Rebel catcher Brett Basham. "He located so well. The only spot I think he missed all day was the ball in the dirt."

That was a costly wild pitch, too, as Shoup came home after he had moved to third on a ground out following his check-swing double.

So Kline isn't perfect, and that one mistake cost the Rebels. But that was just about it. Other than that, it was a masterful performance by the 6-foot-3, 218-pound fourth-year junior right-hander.

"When Will's out there, you know the hits and runs are going to be at a minimum," Basham said. "You know when he's out there, you've got a great shot to win."

"He's a really good pitcher," Shoup said. "He keeps the ball down and his location is really good. His changeup is really effective."

"This was what you expect on a Friday night game," said Kline, 2-0 on the season but not the winner in this one as Bittle picked up his first win as a Rebel after two saves. "A couple of hits here and there and that's about it."

When Will Kline pitches for the Rebels, opposing teams rarely get much more than that.

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