An impressive offensive display Friday night drove the Rebels to a 7-2 home victory over Alabama. From the fourth inning on, the Rebels registered nine hits, two of which were home runs. Tim Rowe was excellent at the plate, going 2-2 at the plate with two RBIs and a home run.
James McArthur started on the mound for the Rebels, sporting a 2.00 ERA. McArthur looked shaky during the early innings, walking the leadoff hitter, but quickly settled.
“In the first and a little of the second just struggled to find the strike zone, maybe overthrowing a little bit and under-throwing a little bit after that,” James McArthur said. “I was able to find the zone and just keep competing.”
The Ole Miss offense exploded in the fourth inning as the Rebels scored four runs and took a three run lead.
“We’ve always been confident,” Ryan Olenek said. “We know what we’re capable of.”
Colby Bortles doubled to center and drove in an RBI to tie the game at one. Olenek then doubled on the next at-bat and brought Bortles in to give the Rebels a 2-1 lead.
“What an adjustment our guys made the second time through,” Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said. “Bortles with the big double and Olenek with another big hit.”
Thomas Dillard continued the productive inning for Ole Miss, hitting a double that drove Olenek in. A few pitches later, Dillard crossed home plate off of a wild pitch.
“Coach B pulled all of the hitters together in the dugout and told us to try and foul the ball over to the first base dugout,” Olenek said. “When you’re trying to stay that late, you’re still out in front on a guy like that.”
Nick Fortes crushed a solo shot to left field in the bottom of the sixth for the Rebels’ fifth run of the game and his first homer of the season.
“I think Fortes has been giving us some great at-bats,” Bianco said. “He has two at-bats where he moves runners to third base with two outs and of course the home run.”
Tim Rowe went yard just two at-bats after Nick Fortes, making the game 6-1. Rowe then singled in the eighth and registered an RBI, driving in Nick Fortes to make the game 7-1.
“We were able to put several at-bats together,” Bianco said. “Later we had a couple of home runs. Not only were we able to get some hits, but some extra base hits.”
Ryan Olenek continues to impress batting cleanup, going 2-4 at the plate today with an RBI.
I’ve never figured myself as a cleanup or a power hitter,” Olenek said. “For some reason I love hitting in that spot. I just feel really relaxed and confident.”