OXFORD, Miss. – The Rebels got a dominant performance on the mound behind a career-high 13 strikeouts and came up with the big play down the stretch as No. 11 Ole Miss (6-1) defeated Wright State (0-1) by a score of 3-2 on Friday night.
With one out, runners at second and third and the score tied at two in the bottom of the ninth, Wright State intentionally walked Justin Henry in the hopes of setting up the double play. After the fourth ball on the pitchout, however, the Raider catcher popped up and threw to third trying to pick off Evan Button. The ball sailed wide allowing Button to cross the plate and notch the winning run for the Rebels.
Kline went 8.0 innings in the start, striking out 13 batters and walking only two as he gave up two runs on three hits. Scott Bittle (1-0) picked up the win after entering the game in the ninth. Bittle struck out the side in order before the Rebels grabbed the win in the bottom half of the frame.
Erich Schanz (0-1) suffered the loss for the Raiders as he turned in 0.2 innings of work and allowed one run on one hit while walking one. The run scored after he was pulled from the game, but his walk of Overbeck to lead off the ninth tagged him with the loss when Button crossed the plate after running for Overbeck.
Garrett Holleran worked 6.2 innings as the starter for the Raiders as he gave up two runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts. The Raiders used four pitchers in the outing.
“You have to tip your hand to their guy today,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “I thought he pitched a great game. I thought it was a great try on the throw (to third). Will Kline was outstanding for us today. He had great command of his pitches on both sides of the plate.”
Ole Miss got on the board in the third inning when Brett Basham hammered a double to the wall in left center, scoring Jordan Henry from first. Henry reached on a bunt single down the third base line to open the inning. Basham moved to third on a sac bunt from Justin Henry and then scored on a groundout to short by Logan Power to give the Rebels a 2-0 lead after three innings.
The Raiders got on the board in the fifth, cutting the lead to one, when Shoup scored from third on a wild pitch in the dirt. Shoup doubled before moving to third on a ground out to short by Parker.
Wright State tied the game at two in the sixth when Ross Oeder homered to left field with two outs on the board. The inning ended when Kline got Biedenharn to ground out to second, halting the rally.
Ole Miss pushed the winning run across in the ninth when the Button scored on the throwing error from the Raider catcher.
Ole Miss and Wright State will return to action on Saturday with the second game of the series. The two teams will face-off with a 1:30 p.m. first pitch at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.had