“Another tough day for us offensively,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco after his team fell to 24-8 overall and 4-7 in Southeastern Conference play. “Early in the game against a very good pitcher in (Tyler) Beede, I thought we looked good offensively. We looked like we were locked in. We had a lot of good swings. We barreled a lot of balls up the first couple of innings. But we didn’t have much to show for it.”
That’s become the norm every time out for the Rebels the past four games. They’re averaged half a run a contest – back to back shutouts at the hands of Florida and now two games against Vandy scoring one run each outing.
“We’ve just got to do a better job when we get opportunities,” said sophomore Sikes Orvis, who had two of the Rebels’ five hits Saturday. “We just have to stay with our approach. We know we’re a good offensive team and a good team. Baseball’s a funny game. Eventually we’ll break out of it. The offense hasn’t been getting big hits, but we’ll be alright.”
The Rebels’ defense was solid enough Saturday and was Friday night, with only an error each game. On Saturday there weren’t even the mental miscues the Rebels had at some defensive moments on Friday night.
Starter Mike Mayers went 4.2 innings and hung in there, but walked six Commodores which did him in. He allowed six hits but only two runs, with just one earned. He had five strikeouts but eventually gave way to Chris Ellis in the fifth inning.
“Mike Mayers certainly wasn’t his best, but he gave us an opportunity,” Bianco said.
Bianco said Mayers, who fell to 2-4 this season, can be hard on himself and wants to perform at his best to help the team win.
“You can’t win it by yourself. All you can do is give us a good performance,” Bianco said. “He’s such a good competitor that he gives us a chance to win.”
Vanderbilt scores a run
Ellis went 1.2 innings with three hits and two strikeouts. Aaron Greenwood went the final 2.2 innings with a hit and three strikeouts.
The Rebels really did a nice job in the field and on the mound, and Bianco said those areas were good enough for victory.
“Pitching and defense I thought we were solid today,” Bianco said. “I thought Chris Ellis pitched today better than he has, and that was good.”
The Rebels’ best opportunity came in the fifth when they got bases loaded but failed to produce anything.
Then in the sixth they scored their lone run of the game when Orvis singled to plate Austin Anderson who had led off the inning with a walk.
The Rebels kept it close which gave them a chance. Anderson led off the eighth with a single, but there were no runs at the end of the frame to show for it.
“Once again, we miss the big hit,” Bianco said of the entire game collectively. “That’s the thing that we haven‘t been getting. When you get the opportunities, you have to take advantage of them.”
Bianco said until the team comes out of their current situation, they have to remain steady in their confidence and approach.
“You’ve got to keep your head up,” he said. “You can’t have that ‘woe is me’ attitude. You’ve got to continue to compete. You’ve got to continue to fight. That’s what we have to do offensively. We have to make something happen.”
Beede, the first of four Vandy pitchers, got the win and is now a sparkling 8-0. Brian Miller got his 10th save of the season for the Commodores (28-4, 10-1).
Sunday’s game is at 1:30 p.m.