OXFORD, Miss. — Junior lefthander Christian Trent and senior righthander Scott Weathersby combined to allow one run on three hits as Mississippi claimed its SEC series home opener against No. 3 Florida 4-1 on Friday night at Swayze Field.
“This is the best we have played,” head coach Mike Bianco said. “We pitched really well and we defended great. We moved better tonight.
After suffering the first loss of his career at LSU last week, Trent returned to the win column and improved to 4-1 on the season and 13-1 for his career.
He retired the first eight batters he faced before issuing a two-out walk in the third, and went 4.1 innings before allowing his first hit, a single back up the middle. For the game, he allowed one run on three hits with a walk and three strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work.
“He was outstanding,” Bianco said of Trent. “It was by far his best outing of the year. He really located his fastball on both sides of the plate and had a really good changeup. And like he can do, when he got into that jam in the fifth, he’s able to make some pitches and get out of it.”
Sophomore center fielder J.B. Woodman and senior catcher Austin Knight drove in two runs each for the Rebels, while freshman third baseman Will Golsan tallied his third consecutive multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 at the plate.
Ole Miss (12-9, 2-2 SEC) grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first on a two-run home run by Woodman, his third home run of the season and fifth of his career, surpassing his season total from last season.
“It was huge to get on top of a team that good and get on top of them early,” Trent said. “The whole game changes once you put it on them early and it got the crowd into it. It was a good way to start the game.”
Trent faced one over the minimum through four before the Gators (19-3, 2-2 SEC) threatened in the fifth. Florida (19-4, 2-2 SEC) had runners at first and second with two outs, and Trent pitched out of the jam with a strikeout swinging to end the inning, his third strikeout of the game.
The Rebels stretched their lead out in the sixth. Freshman second baseman Tate Blackman led off the inning with a bunt single. Sophomore shortstop Errol Robinson later reached on a throwing error, ending up on second and advancing Blackman to third. Then, Knight delivered a two-RBI single through the drawn-in infield to score both Blackman and Robinson.
Coming on in relief with a runner at second with one out in the seventh, after the Gators plated their first and only run of the game, senior righthander Scott Weathersby (2) retired each of the eight batters he faced, stranding the inherited runner in the seventh and working a perfect eighth and ninth to earn his second save of the season.
“When you have two-plus innings left with a three-run lead, not only do you want a guy who’s going to fill it up and throw a lot of strikes, but you want a guy who’s going to make it difficult, and he does that,” said Bianco of Weathersby.