Governors Cuffed

Ole Miss scored early and often, and Rory McKean had his best outing this season as the Rebels defeated Austin Peay 14-4 Tuesday night. Wednesday's game has been moved to a 3 p.m. start. It was originally scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

McKean pitched five innings, allowing only one earned run on seven hits with seven strikeouts and no walks.

"I felt really good tonight," said McKean, making only his second career start and with an inflated ERA of 20.25 this year in just 2.2 innings pitched. "The season hadn't gone as well personally as I would have wanted it to this point. I just wanted to come out here and get a good outing under my belt, eat up some innings and put us in a position to win the game."

Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said McKean was effective and pitched well.

"I thought Rory did a tremendous job in his first start of the year," he said. "I may have left him out there a little too long, especially with the long innings. His pitch count was starting to get up there, much more than he's used to."

McKean is normally a bullpenner, but he will likely see more starting roles this season.

"Today was start No. 2 out of 56 career appearances," said McKean, a fifth-year senior. "But this was good. It doesn't really matter whether you start or come out of the pen. This season I hadn't been getting ahead of hitters. I'd been falling behind a little bit. Tonight I just tried to get ahead and not walk anybody. I did a good job of locating my pitches in the zone early, and that really helped me get some confidence and keep things rolling."

The Rebels, now 10-2 on the year, plated two runs in the first and two more in the second. Tim Ferguson solo homered to get his team on the scoreboard. David Phillips singled to score Alex Yarbrough who had singled. Matt Smith also got a base hit in the first.

After Tanner Mathis walked to lead off the second, Matt Tracy bombed one to the home team bullpen in left to make it 4-0 Rebs.

"It felt awesome. I haven't done that since high school," said the third-year Rebel Tracy, who has spent his career as a pitcher. "I didn't even know what it was like anymore to run around the bases. I was sitting on a fastball at 1-0, and he threw it to the outer half. And I put a good swing on it."

As McKean continued to cruise, the Rebel offense continued to produce. Ole Miss added four in the fourth and five in the fifth to lead 13-0.

But the Governors weren't quitting. A four-run sixth inning closed the gap to nine. In the seventh, APSU threatened again with bases loaded but got nothing.

Ole Miss added a run on a Taylor Hashman RBI single that scored Zach Miller who had reached on a hit by pitch and advanced on a wild pitch.

Ole Miss outhit Austin Peay 16-11. The Governors, 8-4 on the season, committed two errors, but the Rebels had an uncharacteristically high number of miscues – four errors in the game, to be exact. Through the first 11 games, Ole Miss had committed only six errors all season.

"A very good offensive day for us," Bianco said. "Very proud of them for responding after a tough loss on Sunday (at Tulane), and after a weekend where we didn't really swing it real well. The guys really answered tonight."

McKean (1-1) got the win, and APSU starter David Vicini (0-1) got the loss.

On Wednesday the Rebel starter is sophomore Matt Crouse (1-0, 2.25 ERA). It will be his first start as a Rebel.


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