Coach Mike Bianco and No.10 Ole Miss baseball were back in action Friday night as they hosted the Kentucky Wildcats in game-one of a three-game SEC series.
No.10 Ole Miss baseball (25-10, 9-4) has been on a roll and entered Swayze Field Friday night riding a four-game win streak. The Rebels had a huge SEC series sweep of No.16 Florida last weekend and then picked up a midweek win over Southern Miss in Pearl. Bianco and the Rebels were looking to continue their recent success against Kentucky (18-16, 2-11).
The Ole Miss Rebels have been offensive juggernauts in the four-game win streak so it was expected they would continue to put up crazy numbers at the plate and they did. However, the Rebels also found a huge night on the mound from senior right-hander Will Ethridge who had career highs in both innings pitched and strikeouts. This is the way it went down.
In game-one the No.10 ranked Rebels struck first with 3 runs in the bottom of the first to take the 3-0 lead. After three scoreless innings the Rebels then added 2 runs in the bottom of the fifth to extend the lead to 5-0. The Rebels weren’t done and added 1 run in the bottom of the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to see a commanding 8-0 lead heading into the ninth. Kentucky was able to pick up 2 runs in the top of the ninth but Ole Miss picked the 8-2 win.
By The Numbers
Ole Miss Rebels
Junior right-hander Will Ethridge took the mound as the usual game one-starter on was on fire. Ethridge went for 7.0 innings, a career high, allowing 0 earned runs on just 3 hits. Ethridge had 11 Ks, another career high, no BB but did have 2 HBP.
Junior right-hander Houston Roth entered in the eighth and finished out the night on the mound for the Rebels. Roth went for 2.0 innings and allowed 2 earned runs on 3 hits. Roth had 3 Ks in his appearance. Ethridge (5-2) picked up the win.
At The Plate
In the 8-2 game-one win there were 7 Rebels who combined for 14 hits with 4 Rebels having multiple hit games. Leading all Rebels at the plate was junior Grae Kessinger (1HR) who went 4 for 5 with 2 RBI while Sophomore Anthony Servideo went 3 for 3.
Junior Thomas Dillard went 2 for 3 at the plate with 1 RBI. Junior Cole Zabowski (1HR) went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI. Junior Cooper Johnson and freshman Kevin Graham each went 1 for 4 at the plate while sophomore Tyler Keenan went 1 for 5.
The Ole Miss offense has been rolling hard in the past four games and continued with 14 hits in the 8-2 game-one win. The Rebels hitting order has been very productive and OHT believes they are just finding their groove against SEC pitching. After the offense put on a clinic last weekend it may seem hard to believe but the Rebels may get even better.
OK, OHT has been kind of tough on coach Mike Bianco and the Ole Miss pitching staff. Over the past 35 games we have seen some great performances on the mound but the consistency just hasn’t been there. We all know that great offense will help the pitchers and it has. However, the Rebels pitching staff is catching up and we watched it Friday night. Will Ethridge was proof.
Coach Mike Bianco and No.10 Ole Miss baseball will be back in action Sunday in a SEC series ending doubleheader. Because of inclement weather, game-two for Saturday was moved forward to Sunday. The Rebels and Wildcats will be play two 7-inning game to determine the series. First pitch for game-two from Swayze Field is set for 1pm CT an the game will be televised via the SEC Network. Game-three of the series is scheduled to follow. Good luck to coach Bianco and the Rebels! Hotty Toddy!