/Rebels perched on regional’s ‘catbird seat’

Rebels perched on regional’s ‘catbird seat’

Good ol’ Red would have it right. It wasn’t an easy climb, but Tennessee Tech made it difficult. Ole Miss beat Tennessee Tech 9-8 on Sunday evening. However, the Golden Eagles from the Ohio Valley Conference put the Rebels through their paces, pushing them to the limits until the last out. Mike Bianco, Ole Miss coach, said that he was proud of his team’s perseverance. “That was an incredible college baseball game with so much riding on it.” Tech coach Mike Bragga stated that he was proud of his team’s fight. The spoils go to the victor, and in this instance the spoils are plentiful. In the double elimination format, the Rebels are the only undefeated team. The Rebels rested for the rest of the evening while Tech had to go back and play another nail-biter against Missouri State, a 2-1 win that was completed shortly after midnight. Tennessee Tech will now play Ole Miss on Monday after a short rest. To advance, they will need to win two consecutive games against the Rebels. The Rebels will host the Super Regional next weekend with one Ole Miss win. The Rebels were not able to win Sunday night. They scored two runs in their first inning, but Tennessee Tech responded with two runs in the bottom. Tech tied the game again with two runs in the bottom of the fifth when Ole Miss scored two runs in the top of that fifth. Tech tied it in the sixth when Ole Miss led 5-4 in the top of sixth. Tennessee Tech, the nation’s leader in home runs, scored three more runs in this game. Nick Osborne, seven-hole hitter, hit two. Tennessee Tech out-hit Rebels 12-9. Ole Miss needed to be more inventive in scoring its runs. Two important runs were scored by the Rebels on the ninth inning. First Cole Zabowski (from second base), and then Will Golsan (from third base) crossed the plate when a ball bounced past Brennon Kaleiwahea. Golsan was flying. Red Barber, a famous author of such sayings, may have said that Golsan was flying. Caracci saved it, as he does so often. Ole Miss took a 9-5 lead into the bottom half of the ninth. Tech was still determined to win the Catbird Seat, and it almost did. The Eagles refused to give up even after Caracci struck out Caracci, who was the first batter. They loaded the bases on Caracci so Bianco went first to Greer Holston, then to Houston Roth. Houston Roth got the final out with a strikeout on three-two counts with runners at the corners. Roth, a sophomore in Oxford, said it was thrilling. It was the first time I’ve ever been in this situation in the ninth. Mission accomplished. After Tech’s leadoff hitter Alex Junior hit and missed for strike 3, the Oxford-University Stadium crowd, which was at 10,891, let out a collective sigh. With their 48th win of the season, the Rebels tied a school record against 15 losses. Notable is the fact that Tennessee Tech was denied their 50th win by the Rebels. Tennessee Tech enters Monday’s game with the nation’s best record of 50-10. Many people might have wondered if they were really that good, or if it was against inferior competition. The answer is obvious. The tech is amazing. The Rebels won the victory. They had the crowd begging for every pitch. Red Barber-ism #5: “Baseball is dull only for dull minds.” This one was no different.