OXFORD, Miss. –Matt Crouse continued to turn in solid outings on the mound, pitching 6.2 scoreless innings and combined with Jake Morgan for a shutout as Ole Miss (15-4, 1-0 SEC) opened Southeastern Conference play with a 4-0 win over Alabama (11-7, 0-1 SEC) on Friday night.
The Rebels have now allowed only one run in the last 45.0 innings of play following the shutout of the Crimson Tide.
Crouse (5-0) grabbed his fifth-straight win as the Friday starter for the Rebels, allowing only three hits with seven strikeouts in the 6.2 innings of work. Jake Morgan picked up his fifth save of the year, entering the game with two men on in the seventh and working the final 2.1 innings. He allowed four hits and struck out three on the night.
Nathan Kilcrease (2-1) suffered his first loss of the season, allowing four runs – two earned – on five hits with a walk and five strikeouts in 7.0 innings of work.
Zach Kirksey led the Rebel offense, going 1-for-2 at the plate with a two-run home run to get the scoring started for the Rebels. It was the third home run of the season for the junior outfielder.
“It was a typical Friday night in the Southeastern Conference,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “It was a well pitched game. I thought Matt Crouse was terrific tonight. Zach Kirksey was able to get the big home run and we were able to take advantage of some opportunities and put together an inning. Jake Morgan was tremendous there at the end.”
It was a pitcher’s duel through the early innings as neither team could muster a run through the first four innings of play.
Ole Miss got on the board in the fifth when Kirksey came up with a big home run to left center that scored Miles Hamblin and gave the Rebels a 2-0 lead. Hamblin opened the inning with a single before moving to second on a sac bunt from Austin Anderson before the Kirksey hit.
The Rebels continued to take advantage of opportunities in the inning, using a pair of errors to push two more runs home. Blake Newalu reached on a single to left, and scored a batter later when Tanner Mathis singled through the right side. The Alabama right fielder misplayed the ball, allowing Newalu to score from first and Mathis to advance to third on the play.
Mathis scored two batters later when a fielding error at second on a ground ball from Matt Smith allowed him to score as Smith reached safely to give the Rebels a 4-0 lead.
Alabama threatened in the seventh, putting two men on with two outs. The Rebels then turned to the bullpen for Morgan who struck out the first batter faced to end the Crimson Tide rally. Alabama would again get a man to third in the ninth, but Morgan preserved the shutout with a strikeout and a fielder’s choice to give the Rebels the win.
Ole Miss and Alabama will take the field for the second game of the series Saturday at 2 p.m. at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field. The game will be televised by SportSouth as a part of the SEC television package.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewFeb. 24-March 2, 2015Track & Field - Ole Miss got SEC titles from Jalen Miller (60m), Daniel Bulmer (mile) and the distance medley relay, and the Rebels achieved their best SEC indoor finish since 1984.... read more
The calendar turned to March, as the men's and women's basketball teams march toward the SEC Tournament and postseason play. The baseball team faced perhaps its biggest challenge of nonconference play. The softball and men's tennis teams each had another... read more
The numbers and bracket projections may not be in his favor at this point, but head women's basketball coach Matt Insell is selling the NCAA Tournament selection committee on his team passing the eye test, as Ole Miss enters its... read more
BATON ROUGE, La. -- With an opportunity to perhaps lock itself into the NCAA Tournament, or at the very least enhance its resume, Ole Miss lost back-to-back games for the first time all season, falling on the road at LSU... read more
Despite the most recent home loss to Georgia on Wednesday night, Ole Miss remains a team projected to be solidly in the field, as the Rebels put their school record four-game SEC road winning streak on the line when they... read more
Here's a collection of snow days photos from Ole Miss Athletics Photographer Josh McCoy (@OleMissPix):The Pavillion at Ole Miss in winter! #SnowDay2015 #WAOM @OleMissSports @OleMissMBB @OleMissWBB pic.twitter.com/nHyhVPlDvG-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) February 25, 2015 Awweeee.... #SnowDay2015 #WAOM @OleMissSports @OleMissFB pic.twitter.com/R1BDZ0shvS-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix)... read more
If recent history is any indication, Ole Miss and Georgia are likely to go down to the wire on Wednesday night. Four of the last five meetings over the last three seasons have been decided by five points or less,... read more
The defensive backs, including former Ole Miss players Senquez Golson and Cody Prewitt, participated in on-field workouts at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine on Monday in Indianapolis. Looking ahead, Ole Miss will hold its annual pro day on March 5... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Feb. 17-23, 2015 Men's Basketball - Ole Miss posted a 2-0 mark last week with a 71-65 win at Mississippi State and a 59-57 victory over Tennessee. The Rebels improved to 10-4 in the... read more
Despite winter weather that affected many teams, it was a busy week for Ole Miss athletics. The men's basketball completed a 2-0 week and has positioned itself well entering the last two weeks of the regular season. The baseball, women's... read more
After missing the end of the 2013 season and the entire 2014 season due to recovery from a torn labrum, sophomore right-hander Brady Bramlett has been brilliant in his first two outings back in 2015, fanning 19 batters through 12.0... read more
For the second time in as many weeks, Ole Miss embarks on a Thursday-Saturday swing, returning home to host Tennessee on Saturday after a 71-65 win on Thursday at Mississippi State. During the previous week, Ole Miss was on the... read more