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Rebel Bats Help Clinch Series Over Arkansas

No. 14 Ole Miss clinched a Southeastern Conference series win over Arkansas on Saturday night at Swayze field in a battle of the bats. With both teams combining for 29 hits, the Rebels (24-7, 5-6 SEC) used 16 hits to out-slug the Razorbacks (20-11, 4-7 SEC) 14-9.

The hot Rebel bats plated 14 runs, the most scored by Ole Miss Baseball in an SEC game since April 26, 2014, an 18-5 win at Kentucky. Ole Miss scored 10 runs in innings six through eight, marking the third straight game stringing together at least three scoring innings.

Freshman Ryan Olenek led the night offensively with three hits, two RBI and two runs. The right fielder also made plays with his glove, including a diving catch and throwing a runner out at home. Ole Miss recorded seven doubles throughout the night and went 7-for-18 with runners in scoring position. Tate Blackman, Will Golsan, Henri Lartigue and Errol Robinson all put together multi-hit games with Lartigue knocking in a team-high three RBI.

“I thought we had a really good approach,” said head coach Mike Bianco regarding his team’s success at the plate. “Coach (Mike) Clement laid out a great approach in the hitters meeting, and our guys executed. Throughout, we had some really good at-bats.”

On the mound, left-handed pitcher David Parkinson earned his first career victory in his career start for the Rebels. Parkinson tossed a career-high 5.1 innings and allowed only one run on three Razorback hits.

“He was terrific,” noted Bianco. “It’s hard to say you can ask for much more. A guy who’s been in the bullpen all year and gets his first SEC start, he pitched very well.”

Ole Miss tallied six runs on eight hits off Arkansas starter Zach Jackson (2-3), who also made his first start of the season. At the plate, the Razorbacks recorded 13 hits with five batters recording two apiece.

The Rebels wasted no time taking the lead in game two against the Razorbacks. After Parkinson left Arkansas scoreless in the first frame, Olenek got things rolling with a one-out double to right field. Blackman followed with a single up the middle, putting runners on the corners. Bortles walked to load the bases, and with ducks on the pond, Lartigue ripped a two-RBI single to left field and scored Olenek and Blackman.

With a two-run lead in the bottom of the second, Ole Miss tallied two more to the scoreboard. Connor Cloyd ripped a double to right field sending Errol Robinson, who previously reached on a single, across home plate. With Cloyd on third, Olenek’s ground out allowed the fourth Rebel run to score.

Parkinson kept the Razorback bats quiet until the fourth inning. Left fielder Luke Bonfield hit a solo homer as the leadoff batter in the top of the frame. The home run cut the Ole Miss lead to 4-1.

A scoreless fifth inning went by before Feigl replaced Parkinson on the mound for the Rebels. In the top of the sixth inning, with one out and a runner on third, first baseman Cullen Gassaway hit a fly ball to right field. Olenek made the catch and gunned the Arkansas runner down at home plate as Lartigue made the tag to save a run.

Ole Miss went back-to-back innings, scoring two runs in each. Fitzsimmons was hit by a pitch to start the inning and Golsan then singled to left field, putting runners on first and second. Cloyd was also hit by a pitch before Dishon, in as a pinch runner, scored on Woodman’s sacrifice fly. A throwing error by the catcher attempting a pickoff at first base allowed Golsan to score from second, giving the Rebels a 6-1 edge.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, after Bortles and Lartigue were walked, Holt Perdzock cleared the bases. Perdzock sent an opposite-field double to the left-center gap, extending the Ole Miss lead to seven runs.

The Razorbacks rallied back in the top of the eighth inning. Arkansas scored four times on four hits and one error in the Ole Miss outfield. Stokes entered the game with two runners on and two outs and forced junior Austin Catron into a ground out to end the rally.

Ole Miss answered with six runs in the bottom of the eighth. Kyle Watson got things rolling with a double to left field. Olenek earned his third hit of the night when he singled up the middle to score Watson. A single by Blackman put runners on first and second before Bortles cleared the bases, bringing the score to 11-5. Lartigue singled up the middle to score Bortles, and Golsan followed with an RBI single of his own. Robinson’s single of the middle was the seventh of the inning, capping off the six-run frame and increasing the Ole Miss advantage to 14-5.

Arkansas continued to fight, posting three runs in the top of the ninth before Dallas Woolfolk took over the mound for the Rebels. One inherited runner scored with Woolfolk on the mound, but the Rebels got out of the inning with a 4-6-3 double play to bring the final score to 14-9.

Ole Miss will go for the sweep tomorrow in game three of the series against Arkansas. The two SEC foes will square off at noon from Swayze Field. Fans can catch the game on SEC Network as well as the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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