OXFORD, Miss. - With the score tied at two in the eight, the Rebel offense exploded as No. 16 Ole Miss (6-1) sent 10 men to the plate as part of a five run inning on the way to a 7-2 win over Memphis (3-4) at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
The Rebels used six hits, a sac bunt and a sac fly to push home the five runs and break open what had been a game that featured solid pitching and defense.
Dylan Chavez (1-0) picked up the relief win for the Rebels, working the final 2.2 innings and did not allow a base runner while striking out two batters. Starter Sam Smith worked 5.0 innings, allowing two runs on five hits with four strikeouts, while Blair Wright worked 1.1 innings in relief, holding the Tigers to two hits and a walk.
Tyler Fairley took the loss for the Tigers, allowing three runs on four hits in 1.1 innings of relief work. Starter Michael Wills worked 6.0 innings and allowed two runs on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
"I thought it was a really well-played game and a really well-pitched game," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. "The box score and line score probably won't do it justice because it was one of those games that were very limited with hits on both sides and very good defense.
"The pitchers were able to get it together," Bianco said. "We were able to get nine quality at-bats in a row which is amazing because they had seven quality innings before that. The pitchers all did well. Blair Wright hung in there. Chavez really dominated and had god stuff tonight."
Memphis scored first, pushing two runs home in the second inning when a two-RBI single up the middle from Tyler Rich. Eli Hynes and Derrick Thomas opened the inning with back-to-back singles before moving into scoring position on a sac bunt from Carter White. The bunt set up the two-RBI hit from Rich that put Memphis on top 2-0.
The Rebels got a run back in the home half of the second when Matt Snyder scored on a single to center from Will Allen. Snyder doubled to open the inning to get into scoring position on the Allen hit.
Ole Miss tied things in the third with another run. Preston Overbey walked before Blake Newalu would lay down a bunt to try to move Overbey into scoring position. Newalu beat out the throw to first, but it got away from the Memphis first baseman and Overbey moved to third on the play. The sophomore scored a batter later on a grounder from Tanner Mathis to tie the score at two.
The two teams remained scoreless until the eighth when the Rebels broke the stalemate.
Auston Bousfield led things off with a single and moved to second on a sac bunt from Alex Yarbrough. He scored on a single through the right side from Snyder to put Ole Miss on top, and the scoring began in earnest.
A single from Andrew Mistone put a second man on base before Allen drove in his second run of the game with a sac fly that scored Snyder. Back-to-back singles followed the Allen fly out to push two more runs home before a single from Blake Newalu capped the scoring with the Rebels' fifth run in the inning.
Chavez would close things out in the ninth for the Rebels, retiring the side in order to secure the 7-2 win.
Ole Miss will return to action on Wednesday night, hosting Jackson State at 6:30 p.m. at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field. It will be Fan Appreciation Day and all fans will gain free admission to the game. Ticket holders in the Diamond Club need only present a ticket from a previous game to gain admission. Members of the Ole Miss ticket office will also have a list of ticket holders to help fans gain admission to their seat in the Diamond Club.
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