Rebs lose to Wright State in shortened game

Ole Miss lost to Wright State 1-0 Saturday, but if rain and thunderstorms hadn't come along midway through, the Rebels might have been winners.

The complete story will never be known as the teams played only five and a half innings before lightning stopped play after the Raiders batted in the top of the sixth. The Rebels were ready to bat in the bottom of the sixth as WSU had already taken the field defensively. But the umpires called the players off the field at the first sign of lightning. Rain began shortly thereafter, and at 5 p.m., after more than an hour and a half delay, the game was called.

"Frustrating day," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco, whose team fell to 6-2 on the season. "Both coaches agreed before the game (that it would be a complete game after five innings of play). We knew the rain was inevitable. We both agreed to it. One of us was going to be on the right side of the score, and the other on the wrong side of the score."

So there've been two strange endings to two games this weekend so far, as Ole Miss won on the only error of the game Friday as the WSU catcher hit Rebel runner Evan Button with a throw near third base, and as the ball rolled away, Button ran home for a 3-2 win. Then today the Rebels fell short due to not getting runs in five innings, and stormy weather helped Wright State to its first win of the season against one loss.

"We're not getting it done offensively," Bianco said as his team was outhit five to three by the visitors. "We had several opportunities with runners in scoring position and didn't score."

The Rebels had the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom of the third inning and got nothing. In the bottom of the fifth, which would be their last at-bat, the Rebels had the bases loaded with two outs and failed to produce.

The Raiders got their lone run in the top of the third inning when Dan Biedenharn bunted and John Koplichack raced home from third base.

One bright spot for the Rebels was pitcher Lance Lynn. The sophomore right-hander gave his team a chance but got no help. He fell to 1-2 on the season.

Lynn worked out of several situations, including a top of the fifth which looked like it might increase the WSU lead. Ross Oeder led off with a double to the left center wall and moved to third on a ground out by Dan Biedenharn. After Lynn walked two straight, he got the next two Raiders to strike out to end the threat.

"It's frustrating," said Lynn, with one run on five hits, nine strikeouts and four walks. "They played small ball today and got us. We just didn't come through today. It just happens. That's baseball."

Sunday's game to decide the series begins at 11:30 a.m. No inning will be allowed to start after 2:30 p.m. because of the travel schedule for Wright State.

Sophomore 6-foot-4, 235-pound lefthander Brett Bukvich is scheduled to start for the Rebels, while 6-6, 205, senior lefthander Kyle Kearcher will head to the hill for Wright State.

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