OXFORD, Miss. – The Rebels continued to find ways to win, rallying again at home as No. 14 Ole Miss (18-4) defeated Arkansas State (11-9) by a score of 4-3 Wednesday night behind a seventh-inning rally.
The Rebels pushed two runs home in the seventh, using an RBI single from Dalton Dulin to tie the game and later executing a squeeze bunt from Braxton Lee that brought Dulin home to take the one-run lead on the way to the win.
Scott Weathersby (1-0) picked up the win in relief, working 2.1 scoreless innings with a career-high five strikeouts. He did not allow a hit or a walk in his time on the mound. Josh Laxer then picked up his second save of the season, working the ninth to preserve the win.
Colton Kibler (0-1) took the loss in relief, allowing two runs in 1.1 innings of relief work on four hits.
“(Scott) Weathersby was terrific,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “He came in at the right time. It looked like they wanted him to play a lot more than we did at the start tonight and that’s disappointing. They had some great at-bats early on against (Jeremy) Massie. He can usually make you look uncomfortable up there. That wasn’t happening tonight. They got a lot of hits off of him and some good swings. It was the same when (Cheyne) Bickel came in. We got the arm that we needed when Scott came in there. We got the game back and the momentum back in our dugout. It was a big-time performance.”
Ole Miss scored first, bringing a run home in the first inning when the Rebels executed a double steal to get the run. With men at the corners, it looked as if the Red Wolves had Austin Anderson picked off. Lee broke for home on the play as Anderson took off for third and slid in safely under the tag as Arkansas State attempted to get the speedy outfielder at the plate.
The Red Wolves tied things up in the third when Dustin Jones scored on a single to short from Lucas Fedderson. Jones reached on a walk then went first to third when an errant throw after he stole second allowed him to take third on the play. He then came home two batters later on the Fedderson hit, tying the game.
Arkansas State took the lead with a single run in the fourth on an RBI single from Kevin Fitzpatrick and took the lead out to 3-1 with another run scored on a wild pitch in the fifth inning.
Ole Miss began to chip away from there, cutting the lead to one run on a single through the left side from Will Allen in the sixth. The run scored was the second on the night for the Rebels’ Lee who reached on a walk and took second on a single from Anderson to set up the score on the Allen hit that got past the shortstop as Lee flashed in front of the defender on the hit.
The Rebels then used the seventh-inning rally to take the lead on the way to the win.
J.B. Woodman opened the inning with a single deep to short and took second on a sac bunt from Robinson before scoring on the Dulin hit. Dulin took second on the play as the Red Wolves threw home on the single to try to get Woodman at the plate.
A single through the left side from Bousfield pushed Dalton to third, before the squeeze bunt from Lee brought him home and put the Rebels on top for good.
Ole Miss will return to action this weekend with a three-game series at home against the Missouri Tigers. Game one of the three-game series is set for a 6:30 p.m. start Friday at Swayze Field with fireworks to follow upon completion of the conference home-opener for the Rebels.
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