MONROE, La. – The Rebel offense continued its trend of being efficient and opportunistic on Tuesday night as No. 6 Ole Miss (17-1) used 12 hits to score 10 runs on the way to a 10-4 win over Louisiana-Monroe (8-8) to open a midweek series.
A trio of Rebels led the way with Austin Bousfield, Austin Anderson and Preston Overbey all notching multiple-hits on the night. Bousfield was 3-for-6, while Anderson went 2-for-3 with three RBI and Overbey was 2-for-5 with three RBI.
Josh Laxer (2-0) picked up the win, working 6.0 innings and allowing three runs on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
Cale Win (2-2) suffered the loss for the Warhawks as he allowed two runs on three hits with a walk and a strikeout in 2.0 innings of work.
“I thought we did well tonight, especially with riding a bus for four hours and playing tonight after altering our normal routine,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We did a really good job of answering that challenge and coming out ready to play. It may have been our best offensive outing of the season with the number of quality at bats we had tonight. Laxer had good command and an explosive fast ball. Matt Denny did what he has done all year and really shut things down for us out of the bullpen along with Aaron Greenwood.”
The Rebels got things started with a run in both the first and second innings to take the early 2-0 lead. Ole Miss got its first run on a groundball to short from Stuart Turner that drove in Tanner Mathis from third in the first frame before a groundball to third from Preston Overbey brought the second-inning run home.
Ole Miss pushed three more runs home in the fourth inning to take the lead out to 5-0 on the Warhawks. Sikes Orvis was hit by a pitch and Will Allen walked to start things off for the Rebels. Will Jamison then lay down a sac bunt, but the pitcher threw the ball away allowing one run to score and Allen and Jamison to move into scoring position. Overbey then singled down the third base line to drive in two more runs before the Warhawks would get out of the inning.
ULM got on the board in the fifth inning when Jeff Fuller singled up the middle to drive in Dalton Herrington from third. Herrington reached on a double to right and stole third to set up the score on the Fuller hit. The Rebels led 5-1 after the fifth.
Ole Miss added to the lead in the sixth with a three-RBI double from Austin Anderson. The hit took his active streak out to 12 games, one game shy of Turner’s team-leading 13-game hit streak that was also extended earlier in the evening.
The Warhawks got two runs back in the seventh inning, capitalizing on a pair of miscues to cut into the Rebel lead. A walk and a double started for the home team as the Rebels made a pitching change and brought in left-hander Matt Denny to relieve Laxer.
Denny got a groundball to short, but a throwing error allowed the batter to reach as a run came home and left men at the corners with one out. A wild pitch to the next batter brought a second run home in the inning and moved Chris Dudley, who reached on the error, to second base. Dudley then stole second before a sac fly to center cut the lead to 8-4.
The Rebels got out of the inning still in front by four runs when Denny struck out the next batter to end the seventh.
Ole Miss got a chance to extend the lead again in the eighth, loading the bases with one out. The Warhawks would win the chess match of pitching changes and pinch hitters, however, and get out of the inning without surrendering a run.
The Rebels would return the favor, holding ULM off the board the rest of the way while adding a pair of runs in the ninth on doubles from Bousfield and Holt Perdzock to give Ole Miss the 10-4 victory.
Ole Miss and ULM will face each other again in the second game of the midweek series at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at Warhawk Field.
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