After losing an SEC series to the Kentucky Wildcats last weekend, the No. 11 Ole Miss baseball team welcomed the Memphis Tigers to Oxford for a midweek matchup.
Earlier this season, the Rebels beat the Tigers 9-6 at AutoZone Park. Tonight, a great fourth inning and a couple of errors from the Memphis defense allowed the Rebels to defeat the Tigers 5-2.
After three scoreless innings, the Rebel bats started to pick up some momentum. Cooper Johnson reached second base on a throwing error, and Cole Zabowski doubled to the left to score a run. Knox Loposer earned a walk then Anthony Servideo singled to third to load the bases for Tim Elko.
After a Tiger pitching change, Zabowski was able to score on a wild pitch
before Elko grounded out to first, scoring Loposer. Josh Hall singled to the pitcher to score Loposer and put the Rebels up 4-0 at the end of the fourth.
On the bump, Zack Phillips earned his eighth start of the year for the Rebels. The Grayson Community College transfer made it through 4.0 scoreless innings before the Tigers managed to get on the board. After Cale Hennemann was hit by a pitch, Ben Brooks doubled down the left field line to score a run. In the sixth, Hunter Goodman hit a solo shot to straight-away centerfield to tack on another run for the Tigers.
Houston Roth started the seventh inning on the mound for the Rebels and was able to quickly retire the lead-off Tiger. However, after allowing a single and issuing a walk, Austin Miller came in to take over and was able to slam the door shut with two quick outs, stranding a pair of Tigers.
In the ninth, Parker Caracci came out of the bullpen to squash any hopes of a Tiger comeback. After walking the first batter that he faced and hitting the next, the Rebels lucked up with a double play to end the game.
After pitching 6.0 innings, just one inning shy of his career-high as a Rebel, Phillips ended the day with 6 strikeouts and just 2 runs on 3 hits. Miller was a standout on the mound, pitching 1.2 innings without allowing a single hit and striking out 2 batters.
The Memphis pitchers struggled with command throughout the entire game, issuing 10 walks as a team. Coming into the game with a 4.71 ERA, Tiger starting pitcher Danny Denz only pitched 3.0 innings, walking 5 batters and allowing 4 of the Rebels’ 5 runs. Bailey Wimberley came in to pitch for Denz and was able to keep the Rebel batters at bay for a few innings.
In the seventh inning, James Muse came in to pitch for the Tigers and was able to get a quick out before walking Kessinger, who then stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
After issuing two more walks and allowing Kessinger to score on another wild pitch, Alex Smith came in and was able to get the Tigers out of the inning with minimal damage.
The Rebels will travel to Auburn, Alabama, to face the Tigers in a three-game series starting Thursday night.