Ole Miss baseball continued its winning ways on Tuesday, knocking off Arkansas-Little Rock by a score of 10-2. In a game in which the Rebels faced 10 different pitchers, two big innings at the plate and quality pitching of their own secured the win. Marking the fourth consecutive win since suffering the first defeat on the season, the team improves to 12-1 on the year.
Freshman Jordan Fowler took the mound for the first time as the starting pitcher for Ole Miss and looked more than comfortable in the role. The freshman threw 73 pitches over five innings of shutout baseball. He struck out seven hitters, walked one and gave up four hits.
His catcher Nick Fortes was impressed with what he seen from the young lefty.
“He was filling up the strike zone as he always does,” Fortes said. “He throws four pitches for strikes and has swing and miss stuff. That’s what I expect out of him.”
The bats for the Rebels were hot and cold throughout the game, with only two innings in which the offense tallied multiple hits in an inning. The first of the two came in the third inning when the Rebels scored their first two runs of the game. Grae Kessinger scored Michael Fitzsimmons on a groundout after an Anthony Servideo double had runners in scoring position with nobody out. Olenek followed up Kessinger with a run-scoring double.
Nothing going for either team, Greer Holston came on in relief of Fowler when Ole Miss took the field for the sixth inning. Holston had a roller coaster of an inning, striking out every other hitter but gave up two runs in the process. Trojan leadoff hitter Marcus Ragan reached on a single and Little Rock erased the deficit when Matt Merino hit a homerun to left center and scored Ragan.
The game-winning run for Ole Miss came in the bottom of the seventh and was a gift from its opponents. Kessinger had grounded into a would-be inning double play but Eldrige Figueroa threw the ball wide of the first baseman, allowing Tyler Keenan to score to put the Rebels on top. But the scoring would not stop there as three more runs would cross the plate by way of a Nick Fortes 2-RBI double and a RBI single from Will Golsan.
Four runs came across in the eighth inning for Ole Miss, marked by two hit-by-pitches, four walks, and a sacrifice fly. Little Rock used four pitchers in the inning alone.
To close it out, Parker Caracci matched Fowler’s performance on the mound and struck out hitters on five of his six outs he recorded in just two innings of work.
After winning back-to-back games against smaller competition, head coach Mike Bianco likes the maturity his team is showing so far, especially in a game that finished below 40 degrees in temperature.
“I am proud of the way we played the last two days,” Bianco said. “This is the worst weather of the year and our guys answered the bell.”
Bianco’s team has not disappointed when playing at home and has won all nine games in Oxford so far this season. Another weekend series at Swayze Field is on tap as the Rebels welcome Eastern Illinois for three games over the weekend in the last series before SEC play gets started against Tennessee.