LOUISVILLE, Ky. –Zach Kirksey continued to swing a big bat, belting out two of the Rebels’ three home runs on the day, including a grand slam, as No. 12 Ole Miss (14-3) defeated No. 22 Louisville (11-6) by a score of 18-8 on Wednesday afternoon.
Kirksey was 2-for-5 at the plate with five RBI, three runs scored and a walk to help lead the Rebel offense. Lead-off hitter Tanner Mathis had one of the most productive days to set up the high-scoring affair, going 5-for-7 with three runs scored and an RBI.
Seven Rebels notched multiple-hits on the afternoon as Ole Miss pounded out a season-high 22 hits. It was the most hits for the Rebels since pounding out 20 hits against Murray State on April 27, 2010. The 18 runs scored was the most every surrendered by the Cardinals at Patterson Stadium, while the 22 hits were also the most ever allowed by Louisville in their home ballpark.
Tanner Bailey (1-0) picked up his first career win as a Rebel, entering the game to start the second inning and working 3.0 scoreless innings with three strikeouts. He retired all nine batters faced, allowing Ole Miss to get the separation after the Louisville rally to take the lead in the third inning on the way to the win.
Following the five-run first inning by the Cardinals, the Rebel bullpen allowed only one hit over the course of the final eight frames.
“I’m proud of the way we played today,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “Not because of the score, but because of our ability to respond to being knocked to the ground in the first inning. Tanner (Bailey) retired nine straight batters and that really helped us. We swung the bat well and just had a great offensive day against a good team.”
Ole Miss got on the board first, capitalizing on a throwing error and a pair of singles to push two runs home. Mathis and Austin Anderson opened the game with back-to-back singles before Alex Yarbrough laid down a sac bunt to advance the runners. The throw to third sailed high, however, allowing Mathis to score and putting Anderson and Yarbrough in scoring position on the play. The Rebels added a second run a batter later on a sac fly to left from Matt Snyder that scored Anderson, and Ole Miss held the 2-0 lead.
The Cardinals answered right back in the bottom half of the frame, using three singles in the first four batters to push two runs home and tie the game. Louisville extended the lead to 5-2, continuing the rally with two singles and a double in the next four batters to grab the three-run lead on the Rebels after the first.
One swing of the bat in the third changed things as Kirksey hit his seventh home run of the season and second grand slam to give the Rebels the 6-5 lead. A walk, a double and a walk put Yarbrough, Snyder and Bousfield on for the Kirksey hit that gave Ole Miss back on top and forced a Cardinal pitching change.
The Rebels continued to build on the lead from there, using a two-run home run from Snyder in the fourth before using seven hits to drive in seven runs in the fifth inning to push the score to 15-5 in favor of Ole Miss.
The Cardinals mounted a rally in the bottom half of the fifth, loading the bases with two hit batters and a walk before another walk brought a run home. The third hit batter of the inning scored a second Louisville run before a grounder into a double play got the first outs of the inning and cut the lead to 15-8. Rebel reliever Blair Wright was able to coax a grounder to third from the next batter to end the inning with Ole Miss holding a seven-run lead after five.
While holding the Cardinals in check, the Rebels plated three more runs in the seventh inning to push the score to its final margin of 10 runs at 18-8. Kirksey led things off with his second home run of the day before an RBI double from Anderson and an RBI single from Yarbrough gave the Rebels the 10-run advantage.
Ole Miss will return to action on Friday, opening Southeastern Conference play with the first game of a three-game series against the Auburn Tigers. Game one of the weekend series begins at 6:30 p.m. at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
Five Ole Miss Rebels were chosen as preseason All-SEC selections by some of the people who work closest with the student-athletes, the football media relations directors. The 14 football media relations directors of the Southeastern Conference institutions voted in the... read more
The preseason accolades just don't stop for the Ole Miss football team. Everywhere you look, Rebels can be found on preseason All-America teams. Lindy's Sports recognized seven Rebels for preseason honors, including four All-Americans. Four Ole Miss Football Rebels were... read more
With the season just 74 days away, members of the 2015 Ole Miss football team continue to earn recognition on Preseason All-America lists. Athlon Sports, the latest media outlet to release its 2015 college football preseason All-America team, gave five... read more
Preseason All-America football teams continue to roll in, and Ole Miss has been well represented each time.Today, the Sporting News unveiled its preseason All-America first and second teams, which includes a total of four Rebels.OT Laremy Tunsil and DT Robert... read more
Individual preseason accolades continue to pile up for the Ole Miss football team as college football magazines look toward the 2015 season. Athlon Sports is the latest magazine to release its preseason all-conference teams, June 10; the magazine named nine... read more
The start of summer heat and vacations is also the start of another tradition - preseason college football magazines.One of the first to produce a magazine every year is Phil Steele, whose 2015 version includes about as many Ole Miss... read more
Although they will not begin competing for the Rebels until the fall, several members of the 2015 signing class have arrived at Ole Miss to begin their college journey this summer. The first of two summer sessions offered at the... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 28-May 4, 2015Baseball - The Rebels started the week defeating the Bulldogs, 11-1 in the annual Governor's Cup. The 10-run win for the Rebels marked the largest margin of victory in the 36-year history... read more
Welcome to Pittsburgh...and welcome to #SteelersNation, @Quez_G! #SteelersDraft pic.twitter.com/oY8wZc10Kk-- Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 2, 2015 Congrats Senquez Golson! Drafted 56th overall in the 2015 #NFLDRAFT by the Pittsburgh Steelers. #HottyToddy #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/EPGayDNOu7-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) May 2, 2015 Ole... read more
Six men with ties to Ole Miss were part of the inaugural class of 25 athletes and coaches inducted into the Scott County Hall of Fame this past Saturday at Roosevelt State Park in Morton. It is believed that this... read more
In a tie for 7th place at 7-under, @OleMissFB takes home $30,000 in charity and scholarship. #CFAPBGolf pic.twitter.com/qd0JzilyYR-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 28, 2015 The Ole Miss team of head football coach Hugh Freeze and Sean Tuohy turned in a strong... read more
The Ole Miss men's and women's tennis team learned their postseason destinations, as the men's and women's NCAA Tournament fields were announced Tuesday. The men, ranked No. 13 in the nation, are the No. 14 overall seed and will be... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 21-27, 2015Baseball - During the five-game homestand, Ole Miss went 3-2 with a midweek win over Central Arkansas as well as claiming a weekend series over Alabama. - The Rebels recorded 68 hits throughout... read more
With a distance of 287-yards, the 2015 #CFAPBGolf Coaches Division Long Drive Champion is @CoachHughFreeze! pic.twitter.com/ProCdgbbg9-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 27, 2015 Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze took home the long drive title at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge... read more