• 68°
franklin county times

Rebels rally to victory

By By Austin Bishop/EMG regional sports director
May 24, 2003
HOOVER, Ala. Brian Pettway figured he would pitch again some day, he just didn't know it would be in his team's biggest game of the season.
The Ole Miss freshman retired the one batter he faced in the top of the 11th and came away with the win when the Rebels scored twice in bottom of the inning to take a thrilling 8-7 win over Arkansas in the elimination round of the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament on Friday afternoon.
Despite only pitching one inning all year coming into the tournament, Pettway came on to strike out Arkansas clean-up hitter Haas Pratt with runners on first and second and his team trailing 7-6.
Well, he had a little help.
Seth Smith hit a two-out single to left with two outs to tie the game at 7-7 in the bottom of the left. After Stephen Head drew a walk to load the bases, senior second baseman Chad Sterbens followed with a game-winning single to right to win the game.
The win puts the Rebels, now 34-24 on the season, into today's 1 p.m. game against the loser of Friday night's late game between LSU and Mississippi State. If Ole Miss wins at 1, then the Rebs would play the LSU-MSU winner at 8 p.m.
Pettway was the third pitcher used by Ole Miss on Friday, after four took the mound on Thursday.
Starter T.J. Beam pitched eight strong innings, striking out six while scattering 11 hits.
Beam threw 135 pitches on the day, but Bianco said keeping him in the game wasn't an issue.
Fowler did come in for Beam to start the ninth and pitched 2.2 innings, before Pettway came on to get the big strikeout.
The game was hard fought throughout with both teams trying to add wins to their resumes to make it easier for the NCAA selection committee to choose them when the tournament bids are handed out on Monday.
Had the Razorbacks made a couple of routine plays it may have been Ole Miss leaving the tournament early instead of Arkansas.
The Razorbacks gave Ole Miss a run in the sixth when they dropped a foul ball by Charlie Waite and then misplayed the routine fly ball he hit two pitches later into a run-scoring triple.
Arkansas also had a chance to take a 7-6 win in the bottom of the 11th when it appeared that Jonathan Swearingen was going to be gunned out at second by the catcher, but the ball sailed into the outfield. Two batters later Swearingen scored the tying run on Smith's single.
The two teams swapped runs in the first, when Wishy hit a two-run homer in the top of the inning and Head and Sterbens drove in runs in the bottom of the inning.
The Razorbacks, which fell to 34-20 with the loss, took a 4-2 lead in the fourth thanks to a pair of doubles and three singles. Ole Miss answered with three runs in the fifth to go up 5-4 when Smith, Head and Sterbens strung together back-to-back-to-back doubles.
After Ole Miss stretched it o 6-4 in the bottom of the sixth, Arkansas scored single runs in the seventh and eighth to tie the game.