OXFORD, Miss. –Bobby Wahl turned in 6.0 innings of one hit baseball and the Rebels used a six-run first inning to pick up a series opening win as No. 14 Ole Miss (11-2) shut out Houston (6-7) by a score of 8-0 on Friday night at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
Wahl (3-0) picked up the win as he worked 6.0 innings and held the Cougars to one hit with three walks and a career-high 10 strikeouts. He combined with right-handers Aaron Greenwood and Hawtin Buchanan for the shutout. The two freshmen worked the final 3.0 innings of the game, holding Houston to three hits and two strikeouts.
Jared Ray (1-1) suffered the loss for the Cougars as he allowed six runs on 10 hits in 1.0 inning of work. He left the game after the first two batters reached base safely to open the second inning.
Alex Yarbrough led the Rebels at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored as eight Rebels recorded hits on the night.
“It was a really good game by us,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “I thought we played really well in all three phases. We pitched really well, played good defense, and came out and really swung it in the first inning. Anytime you give your ace six runs in the first inning it is a good thing. There were some good at-bats.
“It was a clean night for us,” Bianco said. “Bobby (Wahl) had great stuff and everybody could tell with his ten strikeouts in six innings that he had dominant stuff. I thought Aaron (Greenwood) came in and did a good job with the six-eight run lead. He threw a lot of strikes, mixed in his breaking ball and worked ahead in the count.”
The Rebels got off to the quick start with a six-run first inning, sending 11 men to the plate and using eight singles to drive in the six runs. It started with singles from Tanner Mathis and Yarbrough before a single from Matt Snyder would drive in the first run. Ole Miss would then use five singles from the next six batters to take the 6-0 lead before Houston would get out of the inning.
The Rebel pitching staff continued to put up zeros from there while the Houston staff settled in following a pitching change in the second inning.
Ole Miss put together its second rally of the night in the fifth inning, driving in two more runs when Yarbrough came up with a two-RBI double down the left field line that scored Mathis and Will Jamison. Both base runners reached on walks in consecutive at bats with two outs before Yarbrough came up with the double to make the lead 8-0 for the Rebels.
The Ole Miss pitching staff and defense held strong down the stretch, including a big strikeout and fly out with two men in scoring position in the night to preserve the shutout win in the series opener.
Ole Miss and Houston will play game two of the series at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.
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