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.
Ole Miss' historic win over Alabama last Saturday was not only popular with members of Rebel Nation, it was among the most-watched college football games of the year.The Rebels' thrilling 43-37 victory over the Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium was the... read more
By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics Media RelationsThe road to the College Football Playoff includes many tests along the way. The Ole Miss Rebels (3-0, 1-0 SEC) just passed their first, proving that they are a legitimate contender after knocking... read more
Offense, defense and special teams. Ole Miss dominated all three aspects of the game as the 15th-ranked Rebels routed UT Martin 76-3 in the season opener. The 60,186 fans, mostly dressed in white, anticipated an exciting start to the 2015... read more
It's finally here...game week! It's been 242 days since the Ole Miss Rebels last took to the gridiron for a clash of the helmets. After a successful 2014 campaign in which Ole Miss knocked off a No. 1-ranked team... read more
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE ATLANTA - On Saturday, fans can tune in to see the Rebels duo of Head Football Coach Hugh Freeze and former Ole Miss basketball player Sean Tuohy compete in the Chick-fil-A... read more
Only 50 days until The Grove is full, the constant shouts of "Hotty Toddy" are in the air, and football kicks off 100 years in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium! Looking forward to this upcoming college football season, seven Rebels were named to... read more
As we near the 2015 college football season, national organizations have started to release watch lists for their respective awards. Through the first week of watch lists being released, multiple Rebels have been announced as players that fans need to... read more
Along with head coach Hugh Freeze, three Rebels will represent Ole Miss at the annual SEC Football Media Days next week. Junior Evan Engram, just named to the John Mackey Award Watch List for college football's most outstanding tight end,... read more
Five Ole Miss Rebels were chosen as preseason All-SEC selections by some of the people who work closest with the student-athletes, the football media relations directors. The 14 football media relations directors of the Southeastern Conference institutions voted in the... read more
The preseason accolades just don't stop for the Ole Miss football team. Everywhere you look, Rebels can be found on preseason All-America teams. Lindy's Sports recognized seven Rebels for preseason honors, including four All-Americans. Four Ole Miss Football Rebels were... read more
With the season just 74 days away, members of the 2015 Ole Miss football team continue to earn recognition on Preseason All-America lists. Athlon Sports, the latest media outlet to release its 2015 college football preseason All-America team, gave five... read more
Preseason All-America football teams continue to roll in, and Ole Miss has been well represented each time.Today, the Sporting News unveiled its preseason All-America first and second teams, which includes a total of four Rebels.OT Laremy Tunsil and DT Robert... read more
Individual preseason accolades continue to pile up for the Ole Miss football team as college football magazines look toward the 2015 season. Athlon Sports is the latest magazine to release its preseason all-conference teams, June 10; the magazine named nine... read more
The start of summer heat and vacations is also the start of another tradition - preseason college football magazines.One of the first to produce a magazine every year is Phil Steele, whose 2015 version includes about as many Ole Miss... read more