MONROE, La. - The timely hits keep coming for the sixth ranked Ole Miss Rebels.
Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco saw his team go to 18-1 with an 8-3 win at ULM Wednesday. Photo/Josh McCoy
On Wednesday night, it was late-game defensive specialist Jake Overbey who delivered a key, two-run, two-out hit in the eighth inning to propel Ole Miss past Louisiana Monroe 8-3 at Warhawk Stadium. Ole Miss improves to 18-1 and will move on to Fayetteville, Ark., Thursday morning to prepare for the Southeastern Conference opener with Arkansas.
Overbey, who earned the team's "Shirt of the Game" was elated with his best moment of the season.
"Coach (Mike) Bianco and (Cliff) Godwin said to win the close games you have to get the big RBI hits late and with two out," Overbey said. "I just stayed with coach Godwin's approach. Stay late on the ball and hit it the other way."
Overbey's double scored Sikes Orvis and Will Allen to extend a slim 4-3 lead to 6-3. Tanner Mathis followed with a single to score Overbey to make it 7-3. Ole Miss added another run in the ninth to account for the final.
"Just a good moment for Jake to help us extend the lead," Bianco said. "It was nice for someone to come off the bench and get a big hit. Again, our bullpen was good. We had two kids in tough spots with Austin Blunt and Scott Weathersby. Blunt had a couple of tough goings, but the purpose of this trip to get him some work. He and Scott handled the pressure."
The game got tight late as ULM pulled to within 4-3 against Ole Miss reliever Jeremy Massie. Chris Dudley got a one-out hit, went to second on a hit by Kodie Tidwell and scored on a sac bunt by Logan Fiasco.
Ole Miss countered in the eighth when Sikes Orvis and Will Allen singled with one out. After Will Jamison popped up, Overbey came through in the clutch, ripping a two-strike cut into the gap in right center to score Orvis and Allen.
Up 8-3, Rebel reliever Tanner Bailey got two big outs to finish the ULM eighth. In the ninth, seldom-used Scott Ashford got the final three outs. He was hit hard in his only previous outing and had a 99.00 ERA.
Tanner Mathis had two hits, including an 8th inning hit that extended Rebels lead to 7-3.
"Scott needed to get back in there and it was great that he got it done," Bianco said.
Ole Miss finished with 14 hits for the game and had 26 for the series. Catcher Stuart Turner went 3-for-5 and scored two runs. Mistone, Orvis, Allen and Mathis all had two hits.
ULM took a 2-0 lead off Ole Miss starter and eventual winner, Brady Bramlett. Bramlett regrouped and pitched four shutout innings afterwards and finished with nine strikeouts to improve to 3-0 on the season.
The Rebels tied the game at 2 in the second when Orvis singled in two runs. Mistone had an RBI double in the third to break the tie and Austin Anderson singled in Auston Bousfield to make it 4-2 in the fifth.