OXFORD, Miss. –Bobby Wahl struck out nine through eight innings to help the Rebels to a series-opening win as No. 6 Ole Miss (21-2, 3-1 SEC) defeated No. 24 Texas A&M (15-8, 3-1 SEC) by a score of 8-2 at Swayze Field.
The nine strikeouts was a season-high for Wahl (6-0), while the 8.0 innings of work tied a career-high for the right-hander. Only one of the two runs scored in his time on the mound was earned.
Kyle Martin (2-3) took the loss for the Aggies, allowing six runs – five earned – on eight hits with a walk and a strikeout through 4.2 innings of work.
“The story of the game certainly was Bobby (Wahl),” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “He had his best outing of the year. There have been outings before where he just couldn’t find his rhythm early and it took him a few innings. This seemed like from inning one he had a good command, mostly with the fastball and slider. He was in control of the game all the way. He only gave up two runs. He hung in there and didn’t let that blow up.”
The Ole Miss offense continued to be efficient at the plate, scoring the eight runs on 11 hits. The Rebels were paced by junior catcher Stuart Turner who went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored, while extending his hit active hit streak to 18 games.
Ole Miss got on the board first, pushing two runs home in the fourth inning as part of a two-out rally. Sikes Orvis was hit by a pitch to reach before scoring from first on a double to the wall in left center from Will Allen. A double down the right field line from Will Jamison then brought Allen home and gave the Rebels the 2-0 lead.
A four-run fifth inning extended the Rebels’ lead to six runs.
Tanner Mathis reached on a bunt single to open the inning and stole second before a single from Bousfield put men at the corners. Austin Anderson then singled to right to score Mathis. Turner dropped a single into shallow center in the next at bat to bring Bousfield home and put the Rebels on top 4-0.
Andrew Mistone kept things going with a sac fly for the first out, but Ole Miss continued its opportunistic ways by taking advantage of a fielding error on a ground ball to short to keep the inning alive. Jamison was hit by a pitch to load the bases and an infield single from Preston Overbey to short brought home the fourth run of the inning and put Ole Miss on top 6-0.
Texas A&M got two runs back in the sixth, using a pair of fielding errors and a pair of singles to bring two runs home and cut the lead to 6-2.
Bousfield got one of the two runs back in the seventh with a solo home run, sending the first pitch into the bullpen in left field to put the Rebels back up by five.
Ole Miss moved back out to the final 8-2 margin in the eighth inning when Mathis and Bousfield were both hit by a pitch to start things off. A fly out moved Mathis to third before a Turner sac fly brought him home and put the Rebels on top 8-2.
Aaron Greenwood then entered the game to pitch the ninth and got the Rebels through the final inning unscathed to pick up the series-opening win.
Ole Miss and Texas A&M will take the field for game two at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night in a game televised by ESPNU.
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