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 meets Mississippi State on the hardwood the for 250th time Wednesday, which makes it the most-played rivalry in the Southeastern Conference. Like the rivalry in football, where the road team last won in 2010, the home team has... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 20-26, 2015Men's Basketball - Senior guard Jarvis Summers scored 4 points in the final 26.6 seconds to lift Ole Miss to a 72-71 victory over Florida Saturday. Summers scored a team-high 16 points, including... read more
Classes started on the Ole Miss campus this past week, as the men's and women's basketball teams enter the heart of Southeastern Conference play. Some of the spring sports have started their 2015 seasons, while others are gearing up for... read more
Former Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt capped an impressive week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, with a game-high five tackles in the game itself Saturday. His former teammate, cornerback Senquez Golson sat out the game with a hamstring... read more
Ole Miss closes out a three-game stretch in which they will have faced three consecutive ranked opponents when they welcome No. 18 Mississippi State on Thursday night. The Rebels are 1-1 through the first two games of the stretch, having... read more
Photo GalleryCody Prewitt and Senquez Golson will represent Ole Miss in the Senior Bowl, which will take place Saturday at 3 p.m. CT from Mobile, Alabama, and will be televised by the NFL Network. The duo have already had a busy... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 13-19, 2015Men's Basketball - Ole Miss thrashed No. 19 Arkansas 96-82 on Saturday. The Rebels picked up their first true road win over a ranked opponent since 2003 and scored the second-most points ever... read more
The Ole Miss men's and women's basketball teams both made some history, while the men's and women's tennis teams started their spring seasons. National Signing Day (Feb. 4) and the start of baseball season (Feb. 13) are less than a... read more
After an up-and-down non-conference slate that included wins over Creighton, Cincinnati and Oregon, all away from home, and losses to Charleston Southern and Western Kentucky, both at home, Ole Miss learned a lot about itself in the first week of... read more
Ole Miss football finished the 2014 football season with a 9-4 record and a top-20 final national rankings in both polls. The Rebels come in at No. 17 in the Associated Press poll and No. 19 in the Amway Coach... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 6-12, 2015Women's Basketball - Ole Miss went 2-0 on the week with a road win at Florida and a win at home against Alabama, moving to 13-4 overall and 3-1 in SEC action while... read more
The Ole Miss men's basketball team opened SEC play, while the Ole Miss women's basketball team continued SEC play, as we enter the heart of college basketball season. Over the weekend, the men's and women's teams posted wire-to-wire wins on... read more
Ole Miss looks to reverse history, as the Rebels (9-4) travel to No. 1 Kentucky tonight (6 p.m., SEC Network), the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. Ole Miss is 0-15 all-time against the nation's top ranked team, last playing... read more