Thursday, November 30, 2023

Ole Miss Shuts Out Alabama in SEC Series Opener

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Junior Will Ethridge on the mound against Alabama. Photo by Adam Brown

The No. 7 Ole Miss Rebels opened conference play at Swayze Field against the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Rebels outlasted Alabama 1-0 to take the series opener on Friday night.

Ole Miss (13-5) shutout the Crimson Tide to close a 12-game winning streak. The Rebels and Alabama stayed even kill in a pitchers duel.

The starter Will Ethridge was lights out to the first two batters he faced to open the game with back-to-back strikeouts prior to two walks and a strikeout to retire the side.

Ethridge worked a total of six-plus frames as Alabama was unable to scratch a run across against the junior. He recorded nine strikeouts and only gave up four free passes. He moved to 4-0 on the season with a win.

Alabama and Ole Miss could not plate a run in the first inning until the Rebels broke through in the second with a solo home run off the bat of Cole Zabowski. His run would be the only score of the evening.

Zabowski finished the night going 2-for-3 at the plate with a run and an RBI.

Alabama’s (16-2) hurler right-hander Sam Finnerty matched Ethridge on the bump with only one blemish on the night. Finnerty gave up one run on four hits through six innings on the bump. He allowed one walk and struck out four.

Coach Mike Bianco made the call in the seventh inning to bring in right-hander Austin Miller to the hill with a runner on first base and no outs. Miller closed the door on the tide by not allowing Alabama to score by getting a fly out and back-to-back strikeouts. He threw an inning and a third not giving up a hit or a run.

The Rebels closer Parker Caracci was called on to shut the door on the Tide for the last five outs of the game to pick up his third save of the season.

Ole Miss and Alabama return to the diamond on Saturday for game two of the series. First pitch is set for 1:30 p.m. on SEC Network +.