By: Sean Cartell
SEC Digital Network
Highlights | Box Score
HOOVER, Ala. – Mikey White’s two-run single in the top of the 10th inning Thursday led seventh-seeded Alabama to a 7-5 win against sixth-seeded Ole Miss in the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
Alabama (34-25) advances to face the loser between Arkansas and LSU in a 3 p.m. CT game Friday on CSS.
Tucker Hawley (5-2) picked up the win for the Crimson Tide, pitching 3.0 innings in relief and giving up two hits.
Ole Miss’ Andrew Mistone doubled to left field to open the second inning and moved to third on a ground out by Sikes Orvis. He came around to score on a double down the left-field line by Preston Overbey. Christian Helsel followed with a walk before Will Jamison singled to drive in Overbey. Helsel scored on an Alabama throwing error to put the Rebels ahead 3-0.
To open Alabama’s half of the fourth inning, Kenny Roberts led off with a walk and Georgie Salem followed with a single. A sacrifice fly by Ben Moore scored Roberts, while Salem scored on a single by White to cut the Crimson Tide’s deficit to one, 3-2.
Alabama added a single run in the top of the fifth inning as Chase Vincent singled with one out and came around to score on an RBI single by Kyle Overstreet.
In the top of the sixth, White reached on a throwing error to begin the inning and Austen Smith followed with a triple that drove in White. An RBI groundout by Brett Booth scored Smith to extend Alabama’s lead to 5-3.
In the bottom of the seventh, Ole Miss’ Jamison and Tanner Mathis each walked and were driven in by a two-run single from Stuart Turner to knot the score at 5-5.
In the top of the 10th inning, Kyle Overstreet walked and Moore followed with a double. White’s single scored both Daniel Cucjen, who pinch ran for Overstreet, and Moore.
Ole Miss (37-22) was eliminated from the SEC Baseball Tournament after also losing to third-seeded Arkansas on Wednesday. The Rebels opened the SEC Tournament with a win against 11th-seeded Kentucky.
2013 SEC Baseball Tournament
Game 9 – Thursday, May 23 – 9:30 a.m.
#6 Ole Miss vs. #7 Alabama
Ole Miss Postgame Quotes
Opening Statement: “It’s always disappointing to finish here and not on the weekend. That’s the reason it’s the number one baseball conference in the country. This is the reason it’s the best tournament in the country. It’s very unforgiving. If you don’t play well, you lose. This happened the last two days. We haven’t played that poorly, but we haven’t played well enough to beat these teams the last two games. We had opportunities yesterday and today, but congratulations to Alabama. They got a lot of key and big hits. Every time we turned around, someone came up and got a big hit. Jacob pitched and started the game. We asked a lot out of him today. We had a couple of opportunities to score, but we couldn’t get the big hit.”
On how he’s feeling: “I felt good. We still battled. Defensively, we did a great job. We were just trying to pound the zone and get some ground balls.”
On working through injuries: “Like every guy that gets called upon, I try to do my job and do whatever it is out of the bullpen. I’m just looking to contribute and get better every day. I felt fine. I fell behind some counts, but I keep getting better everyday.”
On missed opportunities: “The few opportunities we had to get a big hit, we just didn’t get it. They did a great job of pounding the zone on both sides of the plate. They were able to beat us to the counts. He pitched a great game. Next time we have to be able to get to him in those situations and knock them out the game.”
On what he’s taken from this week: “I think we competed today. They smacked us right back and took the lead and would tie things up when we took the lead. To be able to start that rally with two outs and two or three walks in a row, we wanted to tie it up. It’s the little things we took away from it. We’ll learn from that and continue to grow.”
Coach Mike Bianco
On starting Jacob Waguespack: “I’m proud of his effort. We knew that he would challenge them, and we knew that he would throw the ball in the strike zone without fear. That’s why we went with him. He’s deserved it. He’s pitched well. As he mentioned, he’s getting stronger and he’s going to be a good one.”
On positives from this game: “Some guys played really well, but like I said, we didn’t play well enough to move on and that’s why it’s tough. But that’s life in the SEC. It was good to see Aaron pitch well again and it’s good to see Massie pitch well. Obviously, Sam and Mike pitched well. Some guys didn’t have as good of three days, so maybe next week is a start for them.”
Alabama Postgame Quotes
Head Coach Mitch Gaspard
“First of all, as you can see our group is very resilient in games like that. Our team fell behind and our guys did a good job offensively of finding swings and getting the bats going to get the offense going. There’s still some work to do; we gave up too many walks and allowed them to get back in and tie the game. But our guys fought back and found a way in the end.
On Spencer Turnbull’s outing
“That’s kind of been a typical outing for Spencer in the last month or so. He kind of gets in a rhythm, he’ll also get out of a rhythm. The majority of time is command; that’s the next step he’s got to take. If he can do that he can become a really dominant guy. But I thought he did a good job today.”
On Mikey Whites’s performance
“When you look at a player like Mikey, he comes in as a guy who had a lot of success in high school; he played in Team USA. But there was still a learning curve for him and he had adjustments to make. It was just a matter of time. Obviously he’s a good offensive player, we knew that coming in, but he has now gotten comfortable on both sides of the plate. He has the ability to give his best at-bat at the most critical times.”
On delivering the hit to take the lead
“The first two pitches that I swung and missed were both sliders. I actually thought he was going to try and sneak a fastball by me. I was able to keep my hands back, which I wasn’t able to do the first two swings. I was able to punch it over there.”
On winning the game in his hometown
“It was a lot of fun coming to these games and watching people play for the past three or four years. To be able to come up, get a timely hit like that and win the game is kind of surreal.”
On the resiliency of his team
“Throughout the entire year we have fought and battled. Like Coach (Mitch) Gaspard was saying, we’ve set a record now for extra inning games. We’ve got a little bit of confidence going into them. We just take everything pitch by pitch, compete and never give up.”