Ole Miss started slow with a 6-0 deficit , but was able to rebound in a 9-7 win over Memphis to notch its seventh win of the year.
The Rebels got into a hole early, as Memphis was able to get three runs in the second inning and two more in the third off of Ole Miss starter James McArthur. The freshman right hander surrendered five runs on five hits in 2.1 innings pitched in his second career start.
“Obviously it’s disappointing outing for him again, but he didn’t get the luxury three inter-squad games and throwing bullpens in January,” Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said. “I think he threw two bullpens and two innings in an intrasquad, and the next time he threw he was throwing in a game in front of ten thousand.”
McArthur suffered a foot injury that cost him most of his fall and winter practices.
“He’s just not there yet, stuff is not there yet, the command is not there yet. You can see at times it’s really good but it’s just not there yet,” Bianco said. “It’s one of those work in progress.”
Andy Pagnozzi came on in relief of McArthur and, after allowing a run in the third inning, settled in and pitched three scoreless innings.
“The thought process is just come in, throw strikes and get outs,” Pagnozzi said. “It took me a minute to find the zone, and after that inning, everything came together.”
Pagnozzi held Memphis scoreless thru the sixth and thee Ole Miss offense responded by putting up seven runs in the bottom half of the third inning to take a 7-6 lead.
After a smooth first two innings, Memphis starter James Muse struggled to find the zone in the third, issuing three walks after a Nick Fortes single got the inning started for Ole Miss.
After an Errol Robinson walk to bring home the Rebels’ first run, J.B. Woodman reached on an error that scored two more to make it 6-3.
A Tate Blackman fielder’s choice and a Holt Perdzock RBI single up the middle made it 6-5, before Connor Cloyd recorded a base hit through the left side that tied the game at six.
Ole Miss would take the lead on a passed ball that capped off the seven run inning.
“We’ve been able to put innings together, and that’s what good offenses do,” Bianco said. “Good teams are able to take advantage of it and put innings together.”
J.B. Woodman made it a 9-6 game with a two-out two RBI single to right field providing two insurance runs that the Rebels would end up needing.
“I was up in the count and got a good pitch to hit and tried not to do too much with it,” Woodman said.
Connor Green and Brady Feigl got Ole Miss to the ninth with a 9-6 lead with two scoreless innings, and Will Stokes came on in the 9th, and recorded his first save of the season after getting around a solo home run from Memphis’ Chris Carrier to make it 9-7.
“We’re rolling and feeling good and things are coming together for us,” Pagnozzi said.
With the win, Ole Miss improved to 7-1, and closed out an eight-game home stand, before hitting the road on Friday for three games in Conway South Carolina against, Ball State, Cincinnati and no. 18 Coastal Carolina.
– Brian Scott Rippee