COLLEGE STATION - Through two games, the Rebels seemed to have found the offense that had been lacking in recent weeks.
Mike Bianco says Bobby Wahl will make an appearance for the Rebels in Monday's decisive game.
Timely hitting had been a concern coming into the regional, but Ole Miss had no problem getting the hits they needed in their first two games of the weekend.
However, those games were both against right handed starters.
TCU's left handed starter Brandon Finnegan shut down the Rebel bats tonight, throwing 7.1 innings and allowing just two earned runs on six hits during his stint on the mound.
"The story of the game was TCU just played better than we did tonight," Mike Bianco said following the game. "Bottom line. They pitched better, they hit better, they fielded better. When you get to this point you're not going to sneak through. You have to win the baseball game. You have to get them a lot of credit, I thought Finnegan was tremendous."
Though the Rebel bats went cold tonight, the performance of R.J. Hively, who had closed the games for Ole Miss both Friday and Saturday, was impressive.
"Hively was a warrior just like we thought he would be," Bianco said. "Just a gutsy performance but we have to help him a little more than we did."
Hively allowed four earned runs in just over five innings pitched. And while that may not be particularly impressive, it is when you consider that TCU had scored 38 runs in their previous 18 innings heading into the matchup.
"I told coach I wanted to throw before and see how I felt," Hively said afterward.
"If I could go, I wanted to go. It felt great, and the big key today was I was getting my fastball over with a lot of command. They had to honor that so when I threw my slider it was that much better. I was fine up until the later innings I started to tire and I started to leave some pitches up. When you do that against a team that's swinging the way they are, you're going to get beat."
The story of the regional might be the sudden appearance of TCU's offense. The Horned Frogs came into the regional as a team that, quite frankly, wasn't very impressive offensively even in the Mountain West. But a 28-run explosion against Dayton helped get their momentum going, and a 10 run outing against the host Texas A&M got them to Sunday Night's game.
"They had some great at bats today," Bianco said. "They didnt swing it like they swung it the Dayton game and the Texas A&M game, but you can tell they're playing with a lot of confidence no doubt about it."
Now the Rebels face a do-or-die final game of the regional tomorrow night at Blue Bell Park. Matt Snyder, who had three of the six Rebel hits tonight, talked about the keys to pulling off the victory.
"We just have to come out with energy and know that we just can't come in here thinking that they're a tired team that's played a bunch of games because we've all seen how they've done the past couple games," he said.
"They're going to be ready to come out here and swing it and pitch well. We just have to come out and be confident in what we can do and just know that we have a great opportunity to win a championship tomorrow."
The question for both teams is who we'll see on the mound tomorrow night. Neither coach was willing to say who would start the game, but Bianco did say that Bobby Wahl would certainly get some pitchers.
"No doubt you'll see Bobby tomorrow," he said. "Not sure if he'll start or not but you'll certainly see Bobby. I think you might see Mayers in a short stint. This is win or go home. Whoever's able to pitch. We'll do much like we did today and ask guys. Bobby would have finished tonight, he asked for the ball. He said if we're winning late he wanted to pitch today. He went down to the bullpen around the eighth or ninth just to play catch and he felt good enough to throw."
"We'll sleep on it tonight, wake up tomorrow and discuss it some more but probably everybody would be available except for R.J."
The regional championsip game is slated to start at 6:35 tomorrow evening in College Station.
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