HOUSTON, Texas - Matt Crouse worked a career-long 7.0 innings and tied a career-high with eight strikeouts before giving way to Brett Huber closed things out for the Rebels as Ole Miss (6-0) defeated Houston (4-1) by a score of 4-2 on Friday at Cougar Field.
Crouse (2-0) picked up the win, holding the Cougars to two runs on six hits. The left-hander held Houston scoreless through 5.0 innings before yielding two runs in a wild sixth inning that saw the Cougars load the bases on a trio of infield singles before pushing two runners across the plate. Crouse then notched a strikeout and a double play to get the Rebels out of the inning.
Huber picked up his second save of the season, closing out the final 2.0 innings allowing only one hit to preserve the victory for the Rebels.
Codey Morehouse (1-1) suffered the loss for the Cougars as he allowed three runs - two earned - on five hits with six strikeouts in 5.0 innings of work.
Sophomores Tanner Mathis and Alex Yarbrough were efficient at the plate for the Rebels, driving in all four runs for Ole Miss. Mathis was 1-for-2 at the plate with a run scored and two RBI, while Yarbrough was 2-for-4 with two RBI.
"It all starts on the mound on Friday night, and it's hard to expect more from Matt Crouse than what he gave us tonight," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. "A lot will be said of the jam he pitched his way out of in the sixth, but we put him in that jam. He kept battling and got out of it with the strikeout and the double play. Then Huber was just great out of the bullpen."
Ole Miss got on the board in the first inning, scoring a run when Alex Yarbrough doubled down the left field line to drive in Tanner Mathis from second. Mathis reached on a fielding error in the lead-off spot, hitting a sharp grounder to third that was misplayed and bounced into left, allowing Mathis to reach second before the Yarbrough hit.
The Rebels added a second run in the second inning when Zach Kirksey scored on a foul fly from Tanner Mathis. Kirksey reached on a single to center before moving to third on a double down the left field line from Blake Newalu. The left fielder then scored on the foul fly from Mathis to give Ole Miss the 2-0 lead.
Mathis came up with another huge play for the Rebels in the fourth inning, laying down a bunt with the bases loaded and one out. The Cougars' Morehouse went home with the throw, but Preston Overbey slid in ahead of the play to score and give the Rebels a 3-0 lead.
The Cougars loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the sixth before a single to third scored the first run for the home team. A walk of the next batter pushed a second run across and left the bases loaded for Houston. Crouse then got a strikeout and a grounder to short for a double play to get the Rebels out of the inning with a 3-2 lead still in place.
Blake Newalu got a run back for the Rebels in the top of the seventh, scoring on a single to left center from Yarbrough that put Ole Miss up 4-2. Newalu reached on a bunt single to open the inning and moved to second on a sac bunt from Mathis. He then scored on the hit from Yarbrough to put the Rebels back on top by two runs.
Crouse closed out the night by notching a pair of strikeouts and a pop out in the seventh inning before giving way to Huber out of the bullpen who retired four straight before giving up his only hit of the night. He then got the final two outs to give Ole Miss the series opening win.
The Rebels and Cougars will play the second game of the series at 7 p.m. on Saturday night.
Two new mock drafts released this week has former wide receiver Ole Miss wide receiver Donte Moncrief being selected in the late second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, set for May 8-10. NFL media analyst Bucky Brooks projects Moncrief... read more
With Billy Chadwick's last regular season in the books, the Rebels seem to be peeking and hoping to make a final postseason run for the legendary head coach. Corresponding with such, we are also getting down to our final stretch... read more
One spot in the ITA national rankings can make all the difference. Last season, San Diego, ranked No. 44 in the country, earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, while crosstown rival, San Diego State, ranked No. 45, was... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 7-13, 2014Baseball- Ole Miss improved to 29-9 on the season and 9-6 in Southeastern Conference play after a pair of nonconference wins over Memphis and Murray State in the midweek and a series win... read more
Coming off a disappointing 6-5 loss in 10 innings Saturday, Ole Miss bounced back with a dominant 12-2 win Sunday to take the weekend series against Mississippi State in Starkville. At the plate, the Rebels set season high for runs... read more
Ole Miss struck early with five runs over the first four innings, which Chris Ellis and Wyatt Short made hold up in a 6-1 win over Mississippi State Friday night at Dudy Noble Field. The leadoff man for Mississippi State... read more
Riding a six-game win streak, Ole Miss travels to face Mississippi State in a three-game weekend series as part of Super Bulldog Weekend, which also includes Saturday's Maroon-White spring football game. Mississippi State has averaged 7,700 fans at Dudy Noble... read more
The Ole Miss offense exploded for nine runs on 14 hits in a 9-1 win over Memphis at AutoZone Park. The barrage included five multi-hit games and a season-high seven extra-base hits, including home runs by Will Allen and Sikes... read more
We begin this week with No. 13 and entering the 2002 season for the Ole Miss tennis team. The Southeastern Conference implemented a new setup, dividing the conference into two divisions - SEC East and SEC West. This moment... read more