There has been lots of discussion over whether Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco should have walked Virginia’s Mike Papi, the three-hole hitter who drove in the winning run on a walk-off double last night.
Papi is the Cavs’ leader in home runs with 11 and RBIs with 54 – now 55.
To borrow the words of Houston Nutt, Bianco decided to stay with “good on good.”
Here is what Bianco had to say in the postgame presser when asked why he stayed with Aaron Greenwood, a right-handed pitcher against the lefty Papi.
“He’s been our guy. We had already used Massie, and we had (Wyatt) Short left in the bullpen. I liked (Greenwood). We were going to pitch (Papi) tough, but he’s really good, and you’ve got three left-handers in a row with McCarthy right after him. It’s not like you feel a little uncomfortable just pitching around him and walking him to get to McCarthy. We did that the last time, and McCarthy was able to get a basehit.So it’s three guys, not the place that you want to be with the running run at second base.
“Aaron was close. Just a pitch away from getting out of it, but (Papi) did a good job of staying on that ball.
It was a scoreless game in the bottom of the fifth when Bianco had a base open and walked Papi.
Joe McCarthy followed with a single up the middle to drive home the run.
Just before that, the Rebels had turned an impressive double play when Virginia’s Daniel Pinero lined to Preston Overbey at second, and Overbey quickly threw to Sikes Orvis to double off Branden Cogswell at first.
Papi followed Pinero in the batting order, and McCarthy (.305) and Derek Fisher (.285) were the left-handed bats in the order after Papi.