After two games, in the SEC opening series with Vandy, Ole Miss baseball had found itself in a series split. Opening an SEC schedule is always anticipated, however, only in rare cases it it easy. Of course, the Rebels found themselves exactly where most expected us to be, in the middle of a slug-fest with an SEC foe.
After winning the opener 1-0 Friday night, Ole Miss baseball would drop Saturday’s game to the Commodores 6-2. Within the flurry of crazy Swayze wind and Dores hitters, Rebel pitching would finally break. After a record-setting run, which saw 52 innings of scoreless effort on the mound, they went beyond bending. Not in an effort to discredit all they have done, we all knew it was coming. Streaks always end. Ours ended Saturday.
Sunday’s match-up began with both teams 1-1 in the series and hoping to get the win to ice the series. However, neither team expected to have the fireworks of a Sunday afternoon shootout, in which 12 different pitchers would see action.
Bullpen Gets Work
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Five different Rebel would spend time on the hill in the 10-8 win. Rebel ace Will Ethridge (1-0, 3.32), drew the start on the rubber and would go 3.1 innings. Ethridge, who has been lights out, gave up 5 unearned on 6 hits, while sending 2 free trips to 1st. Greer Holston (0-1, 2.65) would be the first of 4 Rebel slingers to find relief duty. Holston would go 2.1 innings, giving up 1 earned run on 2 hits, while etching 3 Ks.
Of course, what would make it more exciting than adding one more freshman pitcher to the mix? Nothing comes close to lefty Ryan Rolinson (3-0, 2.04) and he would see the rubber in the 6th, giving up 1 earned on 1 hit, with 1 K.
Will Stokes (1-0, 4.09) would also find time on the hill, ending yet another streak of three consecutive freshman pitchers. (I’m still researching that stat at the moment.) However, Stokes would go a complete inning, giving up 1 earned on 1 hit while chalking 2 Ks. Dallas Woolfolk (1-1, 1.23) would begin the 7th inning on the mound and never look back. Woolfolk held the Dores hitters scoreless and and would have 2 Ks, while securing the win for the Rebels.
Holy Smoke Batmen
Am I the only Ole Miss baseball fan, who has been slightly disappointed with our offensive production thus far? No, and some of you have been scratching your head wondering what is up. I get it, me too! Thankfully, we have a serious pitching staff which made the cold bats a lot easier to manage.
Luckily, Rebel hitting, which has been lacking, found a perfect time to make a resurgence, and they were on fire. Once again, Rebel hitters got to double digits, with seven hitters making contact. Colby Bortles appeared to be back in true form, as he belted a solo shot to lead off the 8th in route to a 2 of 3 day in the box. Bortles also knocked in 2 rbi. Tim Rowe also had a solo shot to lead off the 7th, and would emerge with an impressive 2 of 4 day at the plate. Also having big days in the box were Will Golsan as he went 2 of 4, and Nick Fortes who would knock in the Rebel’s 10th and final run.
Ole Miss Baseball, What’s Next
Everybody, who knows anything about SEC baseball, knows the strength of the SEC. We also know Vandy is an extremely talented team, so is this Ole Miss baseball club. In comparison, #15 Vandy (13-7, 1-1) is not much different from #14 Ole Miss (13-6, 1-1), especially when it comes to the numbers. However, the Rebels have had a much tougher schedule preparing for the season opener.
Coach Mike Bianco knows what a special pitching corp the Rebels have, and this opening series shows that. Also, Bianco also know what our offense is capable of when they get hot. Let’s all hope the action on both sides stays hot as the Rebels travel to Memphis for a Tuesday game. The first pitch is expected at 6:30pm CT at Autozone Park.
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