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No. 16 Diamond Rebels Debut Fresh Faces in 13-1 Rout of Jackson State

Alex Edwards/The Daily Mississippian


The No. 16 Ole Miss baseball team (7-1) took advantage of three Jackson State (3-5) errors to run away with a 13-1 win Wednesday.  

“I just thought it was a really well played game by us tonight,” head coach Mike Bianco said. “It was a clean game. A lot of guys got in for their first time either this year or in their career. Usually when that happens, there’s some good and bad but more good tonight.” 

The Rebels struck first on a three-run home run from senior outfielder Zach Kirksey, which was set up by a Jackson State error and a single from Junior third baseman Andrew Mistone in the second inning.  

Jackson State answered back immediately when shortstop Glenn Walker drove in a run on with a two-out double. From there, freshman starter Josh Laxer would settle down. The Madison native finished the day with 4.0 innings of work giving up one run on five hits while striking out one batter despite working through some tough situations.  

“I liked that he hung in there,” Bianco said of Laxer. “I don’t think he didn’t have his best stuff, certainly early in the game where it was 0-0 or 3-1. I thought they (Jackson State) put themselves into some positions to score runs, but he hung in there. He continued to throw the ball in the strike zone and work hard.”  

In relief of Laxer, junior Tanner Bailey held down Jackson State going 2.0 innings giving up no runs and no hits with four strikeouts.  

Then Ole Miss added four runs in the fifth to break the game open.

Following a leadoff hit by freshman outfielder Auston Bousfield coupled with walks by Junior second baseman Alex Yarbrough and Kirksey, sophomore catcher Will Allen ripped a 2-RBI single into center field.  

Then the Tigers walked freshman DH Sikes Orvis and sophomore shortstop Austin Anderson before a snap throw from the Jackson State catcher down to first base sailed down the right field line to score Kirksey. Later in the inning, Allen scored on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 7-1. 

But Ole Miss wasn’t finished.  

In the sixth inning, Kirksey added to his RBI total by bringing in a couple more base runners on a double off the left field wall. The West Monroe, La., native ended the day 2-for-3 with five RBIs.  

“It was a big night from Kirksey,” Bianco said. “He gave us some separation.”  

Immediately following the double, Allen was hit by a pitch, Orvis and junior outfielder Tanner Mathis walked to make it a 10-1 game.  

Freshman right-handed pitcher Hawtin Buchanan saw his first action of his career pitching one complete inning giving up no runs and no hits while striking out two Jackson State batters. 

In the seventh, the Diamond Rebels added a run on a double-play ball by freshman outfielder Will Jamison with the bases loaded.  

Senior left-hander Jon Andy Scott also got his first appearance of the year. The Booneville native went 1.0 innings giving up no runs and no hits. Sophomore right-handed pitcher closed things up for the Rebels going 1.0 innings shutting the Tigers in the ninth surrendering just one hit.  

Ole Miss added two more runs in the eighth on a pinch-hit home run from junior catcher Kody Sepulveda to end the scoring for the day. 

Ole Miss begins a three game series with Miami (OH) (3-3) on Friday with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Swayze Field.