Rebels grab win over Auburn
By By Kyle Veazey/staff writer
April 14, 2002
OXFORD Pete Montrenes' sterling effort on the mound for Ole Miss Saturday couldn't have come at a better time.
The Rebels, reeling from a 10-3 loss to Auburn Friday night that snapped their 12-game winning streak, badly needed a win Saturday. And with Auburn sending their ace Levale Speigner to the mound, the premium was high on a quality start from Montrenes.
He didn't disappoint. The senior went 8.1 innings, yielding just six hits, one run and issuing six strikeouts to power Ole Miss (28-8, 9-5 SEC) to a 2-1 win over Auburn on a warm afternoon at Swzaye Field.
With Montrenes appearing to get shaky in the ninth, Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco went to the bullpen to protect his one run lead. Javon Moran had just scored for Auburn to ruin Montrenes' shutout, and the tying run was on base in the person of Scott Schade.
Bianco called on reliever T.J. Beam, who threw only three pitches, a foul ball and a flyout to left field for Doug Vines, and a flyout to right field by Trent Pratt that earned Beam the save and preserved the Ole Miss win.
But the appreciation of the 3,287 fans for Montrenes effort wasn't lost. When he left the game in the ninth inning, the crowd gave him a thunderous standing ovation.
Montrenes was drafted in the 17th round of the 2001 draft by Oakland, but instead decided to return to Oxford. The California native, who transferred to Ole Miss from Southern Cal in the summer of 2000, earned second team preseason All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball.
He was just 2-2 with a 4.26 ERA against SEC opponents entering Saturday's game.
Ole Miss didn't get much offense off Speigner, but they were able to capitalize twice. The Rebels scored two runs off the Auburn starter, who took the loss while going 6.1 innings, giving up four hits and two runs.
The Rebels got on the board in the third inning when Clint Farrar singled home Jonathan Swearingen. A Josh Christian seventh-inning sacrifice fly to left field that brought home Chad Sterbens made the Rebel lead 2-0.
Auburn (25-12, 7-7 SEC) had threatened in the top of the seventh, with Schade and Pratt singling. Montrenes responded, striking out Tug Hulett for the third out and stranding both Tiger runners.
The Rebels and Tigers will now fight for the series win in a scheduled 1:30 p.m. first pitch today. Ole Miss will send Alan Horne (1-1, 5.91) to the hill to face Mike Mueller (1-0, 0.00) of the Tigers.