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Diamond Rebels Take Series from Long Beach State

James McArthur. Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

Ole Miss found success away from the diamond of Swayze Field over the weekend by taking two of three games from the Long Beach State Dirtbags in California. Although the first two games were a one-run ballgame the rubber game of the series went in favor of the Rebels.
On Sunday, the Ole Miss Rebels’ bats came to life as they scored 12 runs on 14 hits to take the series from the Dirtbags.
Ole Miss’ (10-1) offense got going in the second inning with two outs after Cole Zabowski drew a walk. He then snagged second base on a wild pitch. Cooper Johnson brought him around to score on an RBI single.
The Rebels took the game in hand in the fifth as five runs hit the scoreboard. Johnson got the frame started with a walk followed by a single off the bat of Tyler Keenan. Anthony Servideo dropped down a sacrifice bunt that put the runners in scoring position, and Grae Kessinger came through with an RBI single to left.
Keenan scored on a ball that Ryan Olenek knocked off of the Dirtbags’ pitcher. Ole Miss had back-to-back walks from Nick Fortes and Thomas Dillard, followed by singles from Will Golsan and Zabowski to score three more runs.
In the sixth inning, Olenek and Fortes delivered back-to-back singles to add two more runs.
In the seventh, Chase Cockrell came in to pinch hit for Zabowski and drove a ball over the left field wall to give Ole Miss a double-digit lead.
The Rebels starter’ James McArthur was masterful against the Dirtbags on the mound allowing just two hits and five strikeouts in five scoreless innings. McArthur picked up his first win of the season.
Coach Mike Bianco called on Greer Holston to come in to close the door on LBSU’s chances in the game. Holston only gave up a lone run in the seventh to the Dirtbags.

Game 2

Ole Miss responded quickly in the second game with a 4-3 victory behind the arms of Brady Feigl and Dallas Woolfolk.
In the second inning, the Rebel bats got heated up as Will Golsan lead the frame with a double. Chase Cockrell moved Golsan to third and was able to reach safely by a throwing error by LBSU’ third baseman. Golsan came into score on a wild pitch by the Dirtbags’ starter Zack Baayoun and Cockrell advanced to third base. Elko plated Cockrell on a groundout to second base.
The Rebels weren’t done as Fortes hit a first-pitch bomb in the third inning over the left-field wall.
Feigl was unhittable in all but one of his innings. In the fourth, LBSU tallied all three of their runs to tie the game back up.
Ole Miss jumped back on top in the fifth as Jacob Adams got on board with a single to left field. He then stole second and took third on a wild pitch. Kessinger drove him in on an RBI groundout.
Feigl then sat down the next 10 Dirtbags and gave way to the Rebels closer Dallas Woolfolk in the bottom of the eighth with a runner on and one out.
Woolfolk then had to work out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the ninth as LBSU was threatening to take the series. Woolfolk induced an infield fly to third followed by a fly out to left field.

Game 1

The Ole Miss Rebels baseball team tasted defeat for the first time of the 2018 season as the Long Beach State Dirtbags took game one of the doubleheader on Saturday.
The Dirtbags took the first game by the score of 4-3, as Long Beach State’s West Coast small ball caused problems for the Rebels in a wild third inning that set the tone for the game.
Long Beach State totaled five stolen bases in the third frame and scored their first run after a rundown between third base and home plate. The Rebels had LBSU’s Jarren Duran caught dead to rights before he collided with third baseman Tim Elko in the base path, leading to an interference call on Elko and a run for the Dirtbags.
A sacrifice fly moments later brought home the second run of the inning for the Dirtbags. The following inning, Duran knocked home Joey Sanchez for the game’s second run.
The Rebels then knotted the game back up at three runs apiece as Cooper Johnson took a hit by pitch to his hip to lead off the inning. Cole Zabowski advanced Johnson with a single followed by a smashing double to right center by Elko that brought Johnson home to score. Grae Kessinger and Nick Fortes both delivered well-hit balls that forced fielding errors by the Dirtbags third baseman allowing Ole Miss to score off both of the miscues.
LBSU reclaimed the lead in the fifth with back-to-back doubles.
Ole Miss’ starter Ryan Rolison picked up his first loss of the season, giving up four runs (three earned) on eight hits, fanning three Dirtbag batters while working 6.2 innings.
Ole Miss returns to the diamond of Swayze Field on Tuesday night as they play host to Austin Peay. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.

Adam Brown is the sports editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at adam.brown@hottytoddy.com.

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