“Certainly happy we won but disappointed and don’t think we played very well," Bianco said. "The theme was we did just enough. Pitched just enough to win. Hit just enough to win. Defended just enough to win. But you’re trying to get better every day, and I didn’t think that was the case. So a disappointing day.”
The record, now 13-1, speaks to a Rebel team that has played well most games. But the competition will in short order become tougher, certainly in just over a week when Southeastern Conference play begins.
Bianco said the team cannot become complacent, even with its stellar record to this point.
“Sometimes when you’ve had the success we’ve had, there are certain areas of the game that falter," he said. "Today, after being terrific offensive early (in the first inning)...I don’t think it was the early start. I don’t think it was the temperature. We had some really good at-bats at first, and we looked like we were really locked in. But after that we didn’t do much offensively.”
Catcher Stuart Turner was certainly a positive for the Rebels. Turner’s RBI single in the first was the Rebels’ first run of the game. He later scored in the inning on a Sikes Orvis single.
“Turner is such a weapon behind the plate, and nothing ever gets by him,” Bianco said. “If they ever try to steal, he takes care of that.”
Starter Brady Bramlett moved to 2-0 on the season and went five innings allowing only one run on five hits but with only two strikeouts and four walks.
Bramlett said he's building confidence with every appearance, especially when the offense is as productive early as it was today.
"You definitely feel confident with the offense putting up five runs in the first inning," he said. "I felt good and I tried to pound the zone as best I could."
Bramlett said he’s pleased to be getting the opportunity to pitch at an early stage in his college career.
“Everything’s been up to my expectations so far,” the freshman right-hander said. “I’m glad Coach (Bianco) is giving me the chance to go out and get some starts. And it’s great knowing the team I have behind me. That instills even more confidence into me.”
“Proud of Brady, but he’s better than he threw today,” Bianco said. “It was almost just the first hitter of every inning. We talked about it after the second inning and said ‘You’ve got to be ready.’ Stand by the heater between innings. Stand up and play catch. Do whatever you need to do. (His performance) was uncharacteristic of him.
“But we’re excited about him. Not only does he have great stuff, but he’s a strike thrower,” Bianco continued. “He’s a guy that really commands the ball on both sides of the plate. The good news from today is he was able to make pitches and to not let an inning blow up on him.”
Bianco said it wasn't his team's best day on the mound.
"We just didn’t command the strike zone, especially out of the bullpen, like we have all year long. We were able to make some plays and get out of some jams."
Austin Blunt, Scott Weathersby, and Aaron Greenwood all pitched, in addition to Bramlett. Greenwood got into a jam late and gave way to Tanner Bailey, who entered with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth.
“It was a game we feel fortunate to end up on the right side of,” Bianco said.
Ole Miss hosts Lipscomb University three games this weekend, beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m.