Sunday Setback

NEW ORLEANS - The Ole Miss Rebels won the series but the Tulane Green Wave rolled on Sunday 12-4.

The homestanding Greenies came out aggressively at the plate and rocked UM starter Trent Rothlin as the innings wore on.

"Just a tough day at the ballpark," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco after his team fell to 9-2. "We stressed all week for Rothlin to throw the ball into the strike zone to cut down some of the walks. Who knows? Might not have been the best advice as hot as they were today."

The Green Wave (6-5) had 20 hits on the day, 18 of them singles.

"They were really aggressive today at the plate," said Rothlin, now 2-1 on the season. "You've got to give them credit. They were hitting good pitches. They just came out swinging the bats. I felt like everything was working well for me. They just had a really good offensive day. I tip my cap to them." Bianco said things snowballed on the Rebels, and it was tough to get it back after it headed in the wrong direction.

"It was one of those days where early on some balls found some holes and you just look at it as we had some misfortune," Bianco said. "We just didn't throw enough good pitches, because they started barreling some balls up. It was just one of those days where they were going to have a great day offensively, and it was tough to get them out."

Ole Miss had just eight hits in the game, and it appeared the inability to slow down the Green Wave offense affected the Rebels offensively.

"We needed to match them punch for punch, and we didn't," Bianco said. "It wasn't like we stopped competing. But it's tough when you get behind that far. Again, some phase of the game has to take control if you want to stay in the game."

Offensive bright spots for the Rebs were Tim Ferguson, who went 3-for-3, and Alex Yarbrough, who was 3-for-4. The freshman second baseman was 8-for-13 on the weekend.

The Rebels took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Miles Hamblin singled to right to score Alex Yarbrough who had singled to right and stolen second base. Hamblin stole second and moved to third on a throwing error. He scored on a fly ball to center from Tim Ferguson.

But Tulane was able to tie the game 2-2 in the bottom of the second as the Green Wave got three straight singles to start the inning.

A terrific throw by Matt Smith from right to catcher Taylor Hightower got lead runner Garrett Cannizaro at the plate.

But the home team wasn't finished. Back to back singles by Brennan Middleton and Nick Boullosa got two runs home to tie it. Ole Miss retook the lead in the top of the fourth. Yarbrough singled, moved to second on a ground out by Hightower and to third on a wild pitch. A fly ball to center by Hamblin scored Yarbrough.

But the Green Wave got its first lead of the weekend with four runs in fourth, chasing UM starter Trent Rothlin after he allowed three to cross the plate. The junior right-hander went 3.2 innings, allowing 6 runs on 10 hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Eric Callender came in and at least slowed things down but allowed one run on a balk call.

But the bottom of the fifth was unkind to the Rebels and Callender. A Brandon Boudreaux RBI triple scored a run, and a Matt Shortall ground out scored Boudreaux.

Tulane added a run in the sixth for a 9-3 lead to send Callender to the showers as Matt Crouse to record the final out of the frame. Callender went two innings, allowing three runs on five hits with no walks and a strikeout.

It was 12-3 when the Rebels put on a brief rally in the top of the ninth. With the bases loaded, Matt Smith had a nice at-bat and battled until he walked in a run with one out. But a David Phillips double play ended it.

Ole Miss hosts Austin Peay twice this midweek. Tuesday night's starter will be fifth-year senior RHP Rory McKean. McKean was the last of five pitchers used Sunday by the Rebels, facing just one batter after relieving Jordan Cooper. Cooper had come in for Matt Crouse in the eighth.


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