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.
THE SEASON: Ole Miss Basketball (2014) - Episode 7 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.In case you missed it, here are each of the first six episodes of The Season: Ole Miss Basketball:Episode 1 (Season overview, Auburn, Mississippi State games)Episode... read more
In less than a full indoor season with the Ole Miss track & field team, Australian distance runner Daniel Bulmer has had a significant impact on the school record books and set the stage for a lot more to come... read more
What a Win tonight... Very Proud of our team #ProudCoach #Passion #Process #1MISSion-- Matt Insell (@minsell) March 6, 2014 What a great win for our program tonight! This team has come so far! Watch us take on Auburn tomorrow night... read more
Proceeding from 1995 to 1996, we will highlight moment No. 23 in head coach Billy Chadwick's career. This particular moment will accentuate a tremendous individual accomplishment. In 1996, Sweden's Johan Hede became the first Rebel in Ole Miss tennis history... read more
The Ole Miss women's basketball team looks to carry the momentum from a 73-71 overtime win over Auburn on Senior Day this past Sunday into this week's Southeastern Conference Tournament at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga. The Rebels are... read more
Ole Miss and Arkansas are both looking to improve their Southeastern Conference standing and possibly play their way into a top-four seed and a double bye to the quarterfinals of the conference tournament next week in Atlanta. The Rebels are... read more
Senior Bo Wallace returns at quarterback and will go through spring drills for the first time since 2012, having missed spring practice last year recovering from offseason shoulder surgery."I feel like strength-wise, I'm a lot better than I was at... read more
Audio of Ole Miss head coach Matt Insell's time on the SEC teleconference Monday as well as audio of Arkansas head coach Tom Collen and Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. Ole Miss is the No. 14 seed in this week's... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewFeb. 24-March 2, 2014Baseball- Ole Miss posted four straight walk-off wins this past week on the way to two wins over ULM and a sweep of UCF.- Junior right-handed pitcher Chris Ellis has not allowed... read more
To begin this week, we are ending 1995 for moment No. 24. This moment is another first for the Ole Miss tennis program and is the product of a true collective effort by Coach Chadwick and the Rebels.By now, you... read more
Photo GalleryA total of 25 scouts representing 22 NFL teams were on hand at Ole Miss' annual Pro Day Monday, including former Rebel Von Hutchins, now with the Oakland Raiders organization. Donte Moncrief, who participated in the 2014 NFL Combine,... read more