The fifth-year senior had been roughed up some lately, but against the Privateers Tuesday he was as good as ever.
"Certainly Brett made it look easy tonight," Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said after Bukvich moved to 4-1 on the season. "This might go down as one of his best performances."
Bukvich's last starts, against Alabama and Memphis, were clearly not his best. But after limiting the Privateers to three hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts and two walks, the left-hander was all smiles.
"I felt good out there," said the Northwest Rankin High product. "It's good to be on the right track again after a couple of rough outings. Everything was working, and it was good to get ahead. I only had a couple of flaws where I walked the leadoff guy. But I was able to get ahead and use all my pitches. I used a good four pitch mix tonight and really kept them off balance."
David Phillips' two RBI double in the first inning got the Rebels (24-8) on the board. His shot to left drove in Matt Snyder who had singled and Matt Smith who had walked.
In the second, Brett Basham's double to the home bullpen fence scored Kevin Mort who had walked, and the Rebs led 3-0.
The Rebels got a run in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings. In the fifth, Logan Power, who reached on a double, stole second and came home on a balk called on the Privateer pitcher.
In the sixth, Miller walked and stole second and third. Mort's sac fly got him home.
In the seventh, Jordan Henry reached on an error on the UNO second baseman, moved to second on a Power single, and scored on a Mike Snyder single.
In the eighth, Mort doubled and was driven in by Taylor Hightower who singled to round out the scoring.
The losing pitcher for UNO (13-18) was starter Cory Myers (2-4). The Privateers called on an amazing number of pitchers in the game. When all was said and done, New Orleans had sent nine hurlers to the mound.
Ole Miss outhit the visitors from the shores of Lake Ponchartrain 9-3 in this one.
"We played better tonight, and with Buk on the mound, it was ours," said Power, 2-for-4 with a run scored. "We swung the bats well, and defensively we were errorless again. We've just been winning."
Indeed they have. The Rebels now have won eight games in a row since a 2-1 loss to LSU on Sunday, March 29.
Bianco was pleased with this one.
"I think it was one of our better games of the year," he said.
The Rebels host South Carolina for three games this weekend, starting with a 6:30 p.m. game Friday.
*** Bianco said the weekend rotation, which was shuffled last time due to Drew Pomeranz being ill on Friday, will go back to the following: Pomeranz Friday night, Phillip Irwin Saturday afternoon, and Scott Bittle Sunday afternoon.
*** Bukvich, who redshirted his first year in 2005, now has 19 wins in his UM career.
*** Power and Bukvich are the players who have been in the program the longest. Power, who also redshirted in 2005, had not been his usual self at the plate lately. Bianco said Tuesday night was more like the Power he knows.
"It's nice to see Logan Power get going again," he said. "He looked like the Logan Power of the beginning of the year. Although he's gotten some hits and walks and managed to get on base and help us, certainly it's no secret he hasn't been swinging like he's capable the last month."
*** The Rebels' 24-8 record through 32 games is the program's best start to a season since the 2004 team went 26-6 through 32 games. That was also the first year the Rebels hosted an NCAA Regional.
*** In the contest Tuesday night, 17 different position players saw action for Ole Miss.
"A lot of guys got off the bench and contributed," Bianco said. "That's nice to see."
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