Entering the weekend needing a conference series win, No. 23 Ole Miss swept Alabama at home this weekend. The Rebels will be back in action against the Memphis Tigers tonight at 6:30 p.m. in AutoZone Park.
Junior right-hander Bobby Wahl threw six innings of one-hit baseball and reliever Aaron Greenwood, a junior right-hander, added three innings of relief to propel No. 23 Ole Miss to a 6-0 win over conference foe Alabama (22-14, 8-5 SEC) Friday night.
“Proud of the way we played tonight,” head coach Mike Bianco said.
“I thought after all that has been happening over the last couple of weeks the guys played really hard tonight and with a lot of energy, especially early on.”
The win snapped a six-game losing streak for Ole Miss, which dated back to its series at Florida.
Ole Miss scored four runs in the first three innings, one each in the first and second and two in the third to grab the lead, but with Wahl having a good outing on the mound, the Rebels needed just one run.
“You can’t ask much more out of Bobby and Aaron,” Bianco said.
“They put up zeroes the whole night. Bobby the first couple of innings was probably as good as I’ve ever seen him. He puts a lot on his shoulders.”
Junior catcher Stuart Turner, senior left fielder Tanner Mathis and sophomore first baseman Sikes Orvis all had RBI hits in the first three innings and senior third baseman Andrew Mistone scored while Orvis was in a rundown to push the lead to 4-0.
Junior designated hitter Will Allen added a two-run single in the eighth to push the lead and secure the victory for the Rebels.
SATURDAY: NO. 23 OLE MISS, 5 ALABAMA 2
No. 23 Ole Miss entered this weekend’s Southeastern Conference showdown against Alabama in need of a series win after dropping its previous three, and with its 5-2 win on Saturday, it accomplished that in front of an Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field record crowd of 11,729.
Ole Miss (25-10, 6-8 SEC) got 6.1 innings of work from junior right-hander Mike Mayers and three runs in the bottom of the eighth to secure the win.
“This was one of those grind-it-out type of games where I thought both teams played very well,” head coach Mike Bianco said.
“They pitched well, I thought we pitched well. They played good defense, and so did we. What has happened to us over the past two and a half weeks, the opponents have usually played a little bit better, but today, we played better than them in all three phases, not much but just enough.”
After the first five and a half innings went by scoreless, Ole Miss finally broke through with a two-run bottom of the sixth behind an RBI single from senior third baseman Andrew Mistone and a bases-loaded walk drawn by sophomore first baseman Sikes Orvis.
Alabama (22-15, 8-6 SEC) answered right back with two runs of its own in the top half of the seventh on an RBI single from Kyle Overstreet and a bases-loaded walk drawn by Andrew Miller.
The Rebels eventually put the game away in the bottom of the eighth when junior designated hitter Will Allen continued his hot streak at the plate with a two-run single and sophomore Austin Knight added a pinch-hit RBI single to extend the lead to 5-2.
SUNDAY: NO. 23 OLE MISS 4, ALABAMA 3 (11)
No. 23 Ole Miss secured its first conference series sweep of the season Sunday afternoon in dramatic fashion on a walk-off single by senior left fielder Tanner Mathis. The Rebels defeated Alabama (22-16, 8-7 SEC) 4-3 to move to 26-10 overall and 7-8 in conference play.
“Proud of the guys,” head coach Mike Bianco said.
“It wasn’t our best game, we made some mistakes, but they played hard today. They were locked in from the first pitch going full speed.”
The Rebels had to use seven pitchers in the game with senior right-hander Brett Huber eventually getting the win. Sophomore right-hander Sam Smith started and went 4.2 innings until the bullpen took over.
Ole Miss got out to an early lead scoring two runs in the first on an RBI single from junior shortstop Austin Anderson and an RBI single from senior third baseman Andrew Mistone as well.
Alabama would answer with a run in the top of the seventh and two in the top of the eighth to take a 3-2 lead. Mistone propelled the Rebels back into the game with another RBI single in the bottom of the eighth, and Mathis put the game away with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the eleventh.
“Coach Godwin’s been telling me to just keep swinging,” Mathis said.
“I did it Friday and knocked Will Allen in and had a few at bats yesterday, and today, where I had guys on base and grounded out. He kept telling me just to swing. He threw me a curveball that was up and I put a good swing on it.”
Ole Miss will return to action tonight when it travels to AutoZone Park in Memphis to take on the Memphis Tigers in a makeup game for last week’s scheduled contest that was rained out. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.
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