OXFORD, Miss. – The eighth-ranked Rebels got off to a quick offensive start and held the Rams offense in check as Ole Miss (5-0) defeated Rhode Island (0-4) by a score of 8-1 on Friday at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field in the series opener with the Rams.
Will Jamison helped lead an offensive outburst that saw the Rebels plate eight runs in the first three innings, going 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBI and a walk. Six Ole Miss players turned in multiple-hit performances on the afternoon.
“It was a terrific day on offense for us, especially early,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We had nine quality at bats to start off the game against a really good Rhode Island pitcher. We needed it tonight. Obviously Bobby (Wahl) wasn’t very sharp, and we gave them a lot of free base runners. With the lead, we kind of took them out of their running game, bunting and some of the things that they like to do, which enabled us to kind of get through the game. It’s a positive when you can give up nine free base runners and only give up a run. It means you pitched out of a few jams and play some pretty good defense.”
Wahl (2-0) picked up the win, allowing one run on two hits with an uncharacteristic six walks and four strikeouts. Josh Laxer and Jeremy Massie closed out the game, allowing only two hits and a walk with two strikeouts combined over the final four innings.
Mike Bradstreet (0-2) suffered the loss for the Rams, allowing eight runs on 12 hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Ole Miss exploded in the first inning, pushing out to a 5-0 lead behind five hits and a walk in the inning. A Mathis single started things off before Austin Anderson delivered an RBI double to get the Rebels on the board. Anderson took second on a groundout from Auston Bousfield and scored on a groundout from Stuart Turner.
The Rebels then added three more runs with a two-out rally sparked by a walk of Sikes Orvis. Will Allen then singled to put two men on before Andrew Mistone singled to score Orvis. Jamison then delivered a two-RBI double down the first base line to give the Rebels the five-run lead before the Rams would get out of the inning.
Rhode Island got a run back in the second inning, after back-to-back walks with a man on base and two outs loaded the bags. A third consecutive walk pushed home the run before the Rebels would get a fly out to end the inning up 5-1.
Ole Miss pushed two more runs home in the second inning, highlighted by a triple to right field from Bousfield, and a single run in the third inning to cap the scoring and give the Rebels the 8-1 lead.
The pitching staff would keep the Rams in check down the stretch as Ole Miss picked up the win.
The two teams will take the field at 1 p.m. on Saturday for game two of the series at Swayze Field.
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