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Rebels Use The Force In 21-7 Win Over ULM

 On Star Wars Night at Swayze Field, The Force was certainly with the Ole Miss baseball team. At times, it seems as if the Rebels (28-17) were actually swinging lightsabers in the 21-7 win over ULM Tuesday evening. Ole Miss scored 18 runs over its final three innings at the plate to take down the Warhawks (12-33) in a game shortened to seven innings.
With 21 runs, the Rebels scored their most runs in a game since April 29, 2009 (22-2 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff). Ole Miss also posted a season-high 17 hits as seven Rebels produced multi-hit games.
Sophomore first baseman Nick Fortes led the way, going 3-for-4 with four runs and six RBI, all career highs. The Deland, Florida, native belted two home runs in the sixth inning to become the first Rebel to hit two homers in the same inning since 2008. Tate Blackman continued his hot hitting with a 3-for-4 night, scoring three runs. Designated hitter Tim Rowe went 2-for-2 with three runs and three RBI, while catcher Cooper Johnson added three runs and a pair of hits as well. Also, recording multiple hits were Thomas Dillard and Ryan Olenek. Olenek knocked in two runs with his second home run of the season.
On the mound, freshman Houston Roth (3-0) pitched 2.2 scoreless innings of relief to earn the victory. The Oxford, Mississippi, native struck out five, while allowing only one hit and one walk. Sophomore Andy Pagnozzi closed out the game by retiring the side in the seventh.
For ULM, Anthony Herrera went 3-for-4 with a home run. Turner Francis added a two-run homer as well. The Warhawks used six pitchers in the seven-inning contest, and Chase Cater (1-2) took the loss. Three errors by ULM allowed six unearned runs to cross the plate.
Each team scored twice in the opening frame. Francis hit a two-run home run that just cleared Dillard’s glove over the top of the left field wall. However, the early deficit didn’t last long. Blackman started the game with a single before scoring all the way from first on a double to left by Will Golsan. A flyout to right advanced Golsan to third, and the junior crossed the plate on a Fortes groundout to second.
Herrera homered to give ULM the lead in the third, but the Rebels answered once again to tie the game. Blackman ripped a one-out triple, and Golsan’s sacrifice fly brought him home. Through three innings, the game stood at 3-3.
The Warhawks continued the scoring affair by using five hits to tally four runs and build their largest lead of the ballgame. It didn’t last long as Ole Miss countered with five runs for its own. After a base hit by Fortes, Olenek belted a 388-foot blast to left field, cutting the deficit in half. Rowe singled and Dillard walked to put two men on base for Johnson. The Ole Miss catcher placed a perfect bunt down the third base line, and an errant throw to first allowed Rowe to cross the dish. The Rebels took advantage of a passed ball and a wild pitch to claim their first lead. When the dust settled on the fourth inning, nine runs crossed the plate between the two squads, and Ole Miss held an 8-7 advantage.
After a scoreless inning by Roth on the mound, the Rebels batted around to make it five-run contest. Rowe went opposite field for a two-RBI single before Johnson doubled down the left field line. With two runners in scoring position, Grae Kessinger knocked them in with a base hit that pushed the Ole Miss cushion to 12-7.
Scoring nine combined runs over the fourth and fifth, Ole Miss produced that same number in the sixth inning. Fortes started it off with a two-run homer, his first of the inning, to double up the Warhawks 14-7. Three straight hits, including a double by Rowe, added another run in the home team’s column. A sacrifice fly and two wild pitches plated three more runs before Fortes unleashed his second home run of the frame. His three-run bomb capped off the huge inning and put the Diamond Rebels ahead by two touchdowns, 21-7.
Pagnozzi sent the Warhawks down in order in the seventh, and the two teams agreed to end the game with the series finale on the horizon.
Ole Miss and ULM will wrap up its midweek series tomorrow afternoon (May 3) at Swayze Field. Wednesday’s game has been moved up to a 3 p.m. start time. The final game of the midweek series, originally scheduled for 4 p.m., was changed to a 3 p.m. first pitch in anticipation of inclement weather expected to hit the Oxford area Wednesday night. The matchup can be seen on SECN+ and heard on the airwaves of the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network.
For the latest news and updates involving Ole Miss Baseball, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissBSB, on Facebook at Ole Miss Baseball and on Instagram at olemissbsb. 
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports 

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