The Ole Miss baseball team rode a wave of building momentum to a win in a weekend sweep of TCU, the preseason favorite to win the Big 12. That wave carried on to Wednesday night and swept up the lowly Skyhawks of UT-Martin as the Rebels consumed them 15-2.
Talent disparity was the tale of the tape last night and coach Mike Bianco tried to put water on that fire early. The Rebels dove into their bench and used 13 position players in the game as well as six pitchers. A lot of young players got experience, something that is invaluable in college baseball as the turnover is high.
Sam Smith got the win last night, moving to 1-0. The sophomore allowed 1 hit, 1 walk and 0 runs over 3 innings of work. Smith struck out three and pounded the low side of the strike zone, inducing 5 of his outs on the ground.
Carter Smith got the loss for UT-Martin and is now 0-2 on the season. He pitched 2 innings and allowed 10 hits and 8 runs (all earned). The Skyhawk bullpen only allowed 3 earned runs in 6 innings, but were not helped by the defense who committed 4 errors that led to 4 unearned runs.
Ole Miss got 18 hits in the game and every position player besides Austin Knight and Christian Helsel got at least one hit. Preston Overbey got his first career start at second base and came through in the 8-hole, going 2-5 with 2 RBI and 4 runs scored. Andrew Mistone roped a bases clearing double before being pulled for Helsel. Tanner Mathis rebounded from a rough weekend to go 2-3 before being replaced by Cameron Dishon who went 1-1 with 3 runs scored.
UT-Martin managed just 5 hits and struck out 14 times. Kenny King, Wade Collins and Ben Brewer all hit doubles with King and Collins each recording the sole RBI for the Skyhawks. It was a tough night for third baseman Matt Haynes who went 0-3 with 3 strikeouts against 3 different pitchers.
UT-Martin is now 0-5 on the season and will return home in search of their first win when they welcome the IPFW Mastodons (1-2) to town for a weekend series. The Skyhawks are not yet done with SEC opponents this season, they travel to Vanderbilt in April.
No. 8 Ole Miss (4-0) will begin a three-game set with the Rams of Rhode Island (0-3) on Friday at 4 p.m. from Oxford-University Stadium.