In the opening conference weekend at Swayze, No. 6 Ole Miss took the series from the Tennessee Volunteers by winning the last two of the series.
Sunday, the Rebels (19-2, 2-1 SEC) jumped out to an early one-run lead after a solo home run by leadoff hitter Jacob Adams. Adams claimed his second dinger of the season as leadoff batter while Grae Kessinger is out battling an injury.
Junior Rebel starter James McArthur was masterful on the hill against Tennessee going 6.0 scoreless inning, only giving up two hits while striking four batters out and allowing three free passes.
The Rebels had trouble adding to its lead until the fifth inning, when Adams reached an o error and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Ryan Olenek made the Vols pay as he smashed an RBI double that scored Adams extending the Ole Miss lead to 2-0.
In the sixth inning, Cole Zabowski extended the lead to 3-0 as he sent a screamer over the right-field wall. Two innings later, Thomas Dillard capped the Rebels scoring with a two-run blast. It was Dillard’s fifth home run of the season.
McArthur was relieved by redshirt sophomore Parker Caracci in the seventh. He was lights out coming out of the pen. Caracci finished with 3.0 IP, no runs on a pair of hits and seven strikeouts without a walk. He picked up the first save of his young career while increasing his strikeout-to-walk ratio to 25-1. He set a new career-high in strikeouts with seven.
Game 2 Wrap-Up
Junior Brady Fiegl delivered another gem to his resume this season against Tennessee Saturday afternoon. Jacob Adams had an impressive hitting display to propel the Rebels to a 7-1 victory.
For the Tennessee sluggers, Fiegl was nearly untouchable in 6.1 innings of work, retiring nine by way of strikeout and only allowing one free pass. The Vols only managed four hits from him, including the solo home run in the fifth inning. Fiegl improves to 5-0 on the season.
The Rebels scored often and early, beginning with the second. Tyler Keenan got on base on a two-out walk before Rowe booted him over with his first single of the day. Adams brought them both home on an RBI double to the right-field corner, before ultimately reaching third on an E9.
Ole Miss added another run just an inning later, following Grae Kessinger’s second hit in three innings. An overturned call resulted in Kessinger being called safe on a steal from first. Ryan Olenek sent him to third on a sacrifice bunt before Thomas Dillard drove him home on an RBI groundout to make the score 3-0.
The fourth inning featured an identical hit from the bat of Adams, and it came at an advantageous time for the Rebels. Rowe and Cole Zabowski each reached on a single, while Tyler Keenan took one off the hip to load the bases for Adams, who delivered with a two-RBI double to right. Kessinger brought Rowe home on an RBI groundout, and the Rebels didn’t look back.
They scored once more in the sixth inning on a Kessinger double to the wall that scored Adams and secured the 7-1 victory.
Game 1 Wrap Up
No. 6 Ole Miss dropped the opening game of the series to the Tennessee Volunteers by a score of 8-6 in a shootout. The Volunteers used a six-run seventh inning that broke a 2-2 tie and decided the game.
The Rebels didn’t wait long to get the goose egg off the scoreboard after a base knock by Thomas Dillard followed up by a double by Will Golsan.
Ole Miss’ ace LHP Ryan Rolison was excellent on the mound after allowing Tennessee two runs in the second. But once Rolison was settled in, he kept them off the scoreboard through the next four frames. In the seventh, Tennessee was able to get two runners aboard before Rolison got back-to-back strikeouts against Brandon Trammell and Zach Daniels. He then loaded the bases after issuing a walk on a full-count pitch to Wyatt Stapp.
Head coach Mike Bianco then called on Will Ethridge to come in and try to close the door on the Vols’ chance of taking the lead. Tennessee’s Andrew Lipcius drove the ball down the left field line for a two-RBI double. The Rebels allowed an intentional walk and a fly ball to center off the bat of Brodie Leftridge. The fly ball got past the diving glove of Golsan for a base-clearing triple that gave the Vols an 8-2 advantage.
Ole Miss didn’t take long to respond as they strung together back-to-back, two-out hits from Tim Elko and Jacob Adams to shave the margin to 8-3 in the bottom half of the seventh. Kessinger’s base hit paved way for Ryan Olenek to launch a 1-2 fastball over the left field fence to trim the deficit to 8-6.
The Rebels return to the diamond Tuesday for their annual school day game against New Orleans. First pitch is set for 11 a.m.
Adam Brown is the sports editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.