The Rebel offense has had plenty of batting practice against North Alabama and Alcorn State this week, winning a combined score of 28-7, and the team is now looking ahead to facing off against Arkansas this weekend.
Ole Miss took on North Alabama on Monday, April 5, after dropping the previous weekend series to Florida. The Rebels decided to take that loss personally and scored 20 on the visitors this week. Ole Miss scored first and didn’t look back. Sophomore Peyton Chatagnier kicked things off with a leadoff single, quickly followed with an RBI single from Senior Hayden Leatherwood.
All eyes were on senior captain Tim Elko by the end of the game. Following a hit, he tore his ACL while trying to reach first base. Bianco mentioned in a press conference that it would be possible for Elko to rehabilitate, take medication and possibly return this season as a designated hitter.
While there hasn’t been a clear decision made yet, this option would mean that Elko would wait on surgery until the end of the season.
The second inning, though, was really the difference-maker in this game. The Rebels scored nine in a single inning. It started off with junior Justin Bench coming out with the leadoff hit, before back-to-back triples from junior Knox Loposer and freshman TJ McCants. The Rebels kept that inning going with nine runs, with seven hits. 11 runs later, and the game was over in the seventh.
Loposer quickly made his presence known with a single, double and a triple. The junior was able to perform quickly despite this only being his sixth start at catcher this season.
“He was the offensive star. He was just a homer away from hitting the cycle,” head coach Mike Bianco said on Loposer’s performance.
Junior Kevin Graham was also able to have a very successful game and continues to improve. Graham extended his hitting streak to 12 consecutive games, while also holding records of reaching base in 21 straight games. Graham also hit his fifth home run of the season against North Alabama, for a career-high five RBI. The junior has gotten used to multiple-RBI games this season, with this one making his total at eight.
Freshman Josh Mallitz started on the mound and allowed just two runs, one of which was unearned. Freshman Cody Adcock came into the game as a reliever in the fourth and immediately allowed two runs.
The Rebels finished the game against North Alabama with a score of 20-6.
On Tuesday, the Rebels took on Alcorn State. It seemed to be a slower start for Ole Miss, as the team was unable to score until the fourth inning. The Bravehawks were able to get on the board first but weren’t able to do much else. Ole Miss ran away with it in the sixth with six runs to make it 7-1. Sophomore Drew McDaniel started off as pitcher before being relieved by sophomores Jackson Kimbrell and Wes Burton to close it out.
The Rebels took the game, 8-1.
Ole Miss will take on the No. 2 Arkansas Razorbacks in their fourth SEC series this weekend in Oxford. Both teams will be 7-2 in SEC play to start the series on Friday, April 9 at 6 p.m.