The Rebels hit themselves to a commanding 14-6 win over the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, improving their overall record to 23-14.
The game didn’t start out the way the Rebels wanted it to, giving up a home run in the top half of the first to Aderly Perez to make the score 0-1. However, the Rebels quickly bounced back, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first to take the lead.
After the Rebels went ahead in the first, they didn’t look back. The Rebels scored six runs in the bottom of the second inning, starting with a leadoff home run from left fielder DJ Miller.
The home team did the rest of the damage in the second inning with two outs against them. RBIs in the bottom half of the inning came from Miller, Tim Rowe and Nick Fortes. Ryan Olenek knocked in Grae Kessinger with two outs, but the run was unearned due to a fielding error by the third baseman.
Greer Holston gave up three runs in the top of the third inning, but he regained his composure and threw two clean frames in the fourth and fifth innings. Following the fifth inning, Houston Roth replaced Holston and put up two no-hit innings in his time on the mound.
The game was stagnant from the third inning to the sixth inning when Bortles’ RBI single and Olenek’s two RBI double put the Rebs up by seven runs, making the score 11-4.
Coach Mike Bianco took advantage of the big lead by giving some bench players chances to perform.
“We talked about it in pregame,” coach Bianco said. “When you get your opportunities, make the most of it. It was certainly nice to see DJ come off the bench and get a big homer and really give us the lead.”
Bryce Blaum, Michael Fitzsimmons, Bryan Seamster and Kyle Watson also came off the bench to collect hits in the rout against the seven different pitchers UAPB threw against Ole Miss Wednesday night. Other changes to the lineup included Nick Fortes switching to first base and DJ Miller playing left field.
The Rebels initially had to adjust to the pitching of UAPB, coming off a three-game series against SEC foe LSU. The pitching was much slower than what the Rebs have been accustomed to.
“The speed difference was a little different, and to make that adjustment was big for our offense, and it shows the maturity we have and what we are capable of doing,” Tate Blackman said. “We just got to keep being patient and taking advantage.”
Ole Miss looks to take the momentum from this win over UAPB into the three-game series against the Missouri Tigers at home this weekend. Ole Miss is second to last in the SEC West, but with a series win this weekend, it could move up a few spots in the rankings.