By Adam Brown
The No. 4 Ole Miss baseball team used the long ball against the Belmont Bruins in the final game of the series to pull off a sweep after an 8-7 win.
Ole Miss (10-2) delivered four home runs in the first two innings off the bats of Justin Bench, Tim Elko (2) and Hayden Dunhurst, giving the Rebels a 3-2 lead over the Bruins.
Ole Miss had a total of seven hits in the game. All but two hits were extra-base knocks, including Ben Van Cleve’s double in the sixth inning. In the ninth, Ole Miss got their final two base knocks from Bench along with a game winner by Dunhurst to left.
The Rebels’ starter Dustin Diamond had a shaky first inning that included a walk, a base knock by Tommy Crider and a triple by Brodey Heaton that got the Bruins on the board first.
Belmont’s Heaton finished the day by going 3-for-5 with a triple and two RBI.
Diamond settled in for the next three innings, not allowing any runs until the fifth. Diamond worked four-plus innings, surrendering three runs (on five hits) with two strikeouts and two walks.
In the fifth, Coach Bianco called on Austin Miller. Miller tossed two complete innings with a walk and three strikeouts. Wes Burton took over in the seventh and faced two sluggers, recording no outs.
Belmont knotted the game up in the seventh off of the bat of Logan Jarvis on a sac fly that scored Carson Shacklett.
In the home half of the frame, Elko belted a three-run bomb to right for his second home run of the day.
Elko finished the day going 2-for-3 at the plate. Elko has gone 10-of-17 on the week with five home runs and 13 RBIs.
Ole Miss brought in Braden Forsyth, who got two runners on board by a hit-by-pitch and a base hit. Bianco then called on Taylor Broadway (second straight win) to come in and close the door on the Bruins.
With the bases loaded, the Bruins brought the go-ahead run to the dish in the ninth in the form of Jack Capobianco. Heaton delivered a base knock to score one run. Belmont came in with a base knock to tie the game.
Ole Miss returns to Swayze on Tuesday as they welcome in Alcorn State. The first pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network +.