New Day Sunday

FORT WORTH, Texas - You hoped it wouldn't end this way, but you knew it might, all things considered.

When reliable outfielder Michael Hubbard couldn't hang on to a fairly routine fly ball that would have extended the Rebels' second game, maybe in a twisted way it was a fitting end to an unusual couple of days.

Not that that would make anyone associated with Ole Miss feel any better.

The Rebels won game one 3-1 here against TCU but lost game two 5-4. Sunday is a new day, and that's the way the Rebels said, with some anguish in their collective voices, that they were approaching things for Sunday.

But Mike Bianco also took some time to reflect on the day before flushing it.

"We just didn't play good enough," Bianco said after game two. "Offensively it was a bad day. It's a big ballpark. The wind was blowing in. It was tough to score runs today.

"But days when it's not easy to score runs, you have to max out your opportunities, and we didn't do that. We struck out three times with less than two outs and a guy at third. Three times. All you have to do is hit the ball somewhere and you pick up a run. We have to do a better job of that. We also missed some bunt opportunities."

But Bianco said it was also about the home team.

"You have to credit TCU," he said. "They made some plays at the end. They threw Jordan Henry out on a pitch out. Their pitchers throw the ball in the strike zone and don't give you many opportunities. You're going to have to hit to beat them."

The Rebels obviously weren't at their best today. Some strange things happened on the way to the split. Start with the weather and travel plans which were altered from Thursday until the team arrived at its hotel around 2 a.m. today.

Evan Button, one of the team's captains, got tossed in game two. So did catcher Brett Basham later.

"It's disappointing," Bianco said. "We've got to keep our composure. There's a lot of emotion out there, but you have to be composed and I don't know what Evan or Bash said. But the fact is you got kicked out, so you said enough. Just play the game. We can't lose our shortstop and our catcher before the fifth inning."

Second game starting pitcher Cody Satterwhite left the contest earlier than expected after a hamstring pull he suffered last week flared up.

"He had to come out," Bianco said. "It was tender. He hurt it in weights last week. We thought he would be OK, but he wasn't. He labored out there. Just not a good day for him."

Bianco accepted game one for what it was - and of course what it ultimately was was a victory. Not so for game two.

"Disappointed in the second game," he said. "There are days you're not going to hit. I understand that. But you have to play good defense. You've gotta pitch well and you've gotta max out your opportunities. We didn't."

"We know we're better than this," Cody Overbeck said. "We've gotta go back (to the hotel) and get some rest and come back ready for tomorrow. We'll play better and there are no excuses."

"We can't use any excuses," Logan Power said. "We just have to play better and we will."

But you've gotta admit, it was a couple of strange days. Sunday, however, is a brand new one as the Rebs look to take the series from the Horned Frogs.


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