OXFORD, Miss. – The offense was hot again and used a quick start before breaking away late as No. 14 Ole Miss (13-2) picked up a series sweep of Houston (6-9) with an 11-3 win over the Cougars on Sunday afternoon at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
Mike Mayers (2-1) picked up the win for the second consecutive week, working 5.0 innings and allowing one run on four hits with three walks and a strikeout. Chris Ellis, Dylan Chavez and Brett Huber closed things out down the stretch, allowing only two runs and three hits over the final 4.0 innings.
Aaron Garza (1-2) took the loss for Houston after giving up two runs on three hits in 1.0 inning of work. Houston never led in the game or on the weekend as Ole Miss outscored the Cougars 28-3 over the course of the three-game set.
“We played well again,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We came out of the gate strong and had some big at bats early on with (Austin) Anderson and Alex (Yarbrough). A lot of guys had good days besides those two. Andrew Mistone did well. Mike Myers was far from his best today. He really struggled with command, it was just tough but he was able to throw some good changeups, make strikes and get out of some innings. I thought Dylan (Chavez) and Brett (Huber) were tremendous at the end, but it was all about offense today.”
The Rebels scored in the first inning in all three games against the Cougars, pushing two runs across the plate in Sunday’s series finale to get things started. Back-to-back doubles from Anderson and Yarbrough got the first run home, before a single up the middle from Mistone scored Yarbrough and gave Ole Miss the 2-0 lead.
Anderson delivered a lead-off triple in the third before coming home two batters later on a sac fly to center field from Mistone to put Ole Miss on top 3-0.
Cory Kay got the first run of the weekend for Houston when he belted out a solo home run with two outs in the fifth inning to cut the lead to 3-1.
Ole Miss answered back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning, when Anderson and Yarbrough both scored for the second time on the afternoon. Both reached on back-to-back singles and Anderson before moving to third on a single from Matt Snyder. Anderson scored on a ground ball, fielder’s choice to short from Mistone that moved Yarbrough to third and left men at the corners. Yarbrough stole home in the next at bat as he and Mistone executed a double steal to put Ole Miss back in front 5-1.
Houston got the two runs back in the sixth inning when John Cannon and Price Jacobs came home on a single down the third base line from Jonathan Davis and a sac fly from Kendall Stacks. The 5-3 score was as close as the Cougars would get, though, as the Rebel pitching staff would hold them off the board down the stretch.
Ole Miss extended the lead to the final 11-3 margin of victory with an RBI single from Will Jamison in the bottom of the sixth, followed by a three-run home run from Kirksey in the seventh and a two-run shot from Alex Yarbrough in the eighth.
The Rebels will return to action on Tuesday with the first game in a two-game midweek series at No. 16 Louisville. Tuesday’s game is set for a 5 p.m. CT start, with Wednesday’s game beginning at 11 a.m.
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