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No. 18 Rebels sweep Central Arkansas in double-header

Austin McAfee/The Daily Mississippian

 

GAME ONE: No. 18 Ole Miss 2, Central Arkansas 1

No. 18 Ole Miss (22-10) took the first of two seven-inning contests 2-1 against the Central Arkansas Bears (13-16) Tuesday from Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.

“I thought we played well today in both games,” Bianco said. “We were very clean – great defense, especially the first game. I thought we were sensational. Austin Knight throws out a guy in the first. We were able to get a two-out base hit by Snyder in the first inning and squeeze a guy in, which we haven’t done all year.”

Freshman right-hander Sam Smith (2-2) picked up the win for Ole Miss, giving up just one run, which was unearned, on two hits in 5.0 innings of work. Smith also walked one and struck out two opposing hitters during his time on the mound.

The Rebels jumped on Central Arkansas early, scoring a run in the first on a RBI single by senior first baseman Matt Snyder to score junior left fielder Tanner Mathis.

Central Arkansas tied things up in the fourth with a run of their own. Center fielder Jonathan Davis led off the inning with a double before eventually scoring on a passed ball by Ole Miss freshman catcher Austin Knight.

In the bottom half of the fifth, the Rebels took the lead back with a little help from the Bears. Freshman center fielder Auston Bousfield led things off with a single to left field before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt from Knight. Then Mathis reached on an error by the Central Arkansas third baseman to set up a squeeze play by sophomore shortstop Austin Anderson to score Bousfield and give Ole Miss the 2-1 advantage.

The Rebels failed to extend the lead on a single from junior second baseman Alex Yarbrough as Mathis was thrown out at the plate.

Junior left-hander Dylan Chavez and junior right-hander Brett Huber combined for two scoreless innings to close things out for Ole Miss. Both pitchers recorded a walk and two strikeouts. Huber earned his seventh save of the year.

“It was good to get Huber and Chavez in that situation, especially Huber,” Bianco said. “It was good to get Chavez in just for an inning to feel good and make some pitches.”

GAME TWO: No. 18 OLE MISS 4, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 0

After giving up a run in the first game of the double-header, No. 18 Ole Miss (23-10) did one better as they shutout Central Arkansas (13-17) 4-0 to complete the sweep of the midweek series.

“We put some at-bats together in the second game,” Bianco said. “Proud that we pitched so well pitching so many guys. I thought we were really clean on the mound. We were able to throw the ball in the strike zone and make pitches. It was just a good day.”

Almost exactly like the first game, the Rebels jumped out to a 1-0 start in the first inning off the bat off Snyder, who drove in Mathis with a two-out RBI single. Snyder was 2-for-3 in the game.

Freshman right-hander Josh Laxer (3-0) got his third win of the year on a pre-determined start. Laxer went just 2.0 innings, but he allowed just one hit and one walk while also recording a strikeout.

Ole Miss extended the lead in the third with a pair of runs. Mathis, freshman center fielder Will Jamison and Yarbrough hit three singles in a row to load the bases with no outs before Snyder hit into a double play to score the first run. Then sophomore catcher Will Allen, who finished the game 2-for-3, drove Jamison in with another single.

In relief of Laxer, freshman right-hander Casey Mulholland came into to throw 2.0 innings of one-hit baseball and also recorded two strikeouts.

The Rebels added a fourth and final run in the fifth when Snyder scored on a wild pitch after reaching on a one-out double.

Senior left-hander Jon Andy Scott came in the fifth and pitched 1.2 innings, giving up just one hit and striking out one Central Arkansas batter. 

Freshman right-hander Hawtin Buchanan came in and threw one pitch to get the last out of the sixth inning.

Freshman right-hander Chris Ellis closed things out for Ole Miss in the seventh, giving up just one hit in his one inning on the mound.

“You sit and try to figure out how 14 innings is going to turn out,” Bianco said of getting a lot of guys a chance to pitch. “You’d like to get a few more runs and make it a little easier. The rest of the guys looked great. From Laxer to Mulholland, Jon Andy, Hawtin comes in and gets one pitch and then, to get Ellis to come in and pitch an inning.

“It went maybe not as planned, but it was as well as expected.”

The Rebels will travel to take on the Georgia Bulldogs in a three-game series that starts Thursday.