TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – An offensive outburst that included two rallies and a seven run seventh inning helped propel No. 17 Ole Miss (16-6, 2-2 SEC) back into the win column with an 11-7 win over Alabama (8-14, 0-4 SEC) on Friday night.
Ole Miss had five players post multiple-hit nights as part of a 16 hit performance on the way to the win. Andrew Mistone and Alex Yarbrough helped set the tone for the offense, combining for seven RBI as Mistone went 2-for-5 with four RBI and Yarbrough went 2-for-4 with three RBI in the outing.
Reliever Dylan Chavez (2-0) picked up the win as he entered the game with one out in the sixth inning, the game tied at four and a runner on second base with one out. He then got a pop up and a grounder to second with the bases loaded to get the Rebels out of the inning without relinquishing the lead.
Chavez allowed one unearned run on three hits with two strikeouts in 1.2 innings of relief work. His unearned run allowed came in the seventh inning following a seven-run top of the seventh for the Rebel offense.
Ian Gardeck (1-2) suffered the loss for the Crimson Tide, allowing two runs on two hits in 0.1 inning of work after entering the game to start the seventh.
“We played with a lot of belief and confidence tonight,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We can pitch better and we can play defense better, but I’m proud of our offense tonight. Alex (Yarbrough) came up with a big hit off their closer to give us back the lead when they had made the decision to try to close the door on things right there in the seventh. It was a big hit and some timely hitting from our offense in that inning took the wind out of them a bit.”
Alabama scored in the first inning when Jared Reaves came up with a double down the left field line to drive in Taylor Dugas. Dugas opened the game with a single before moving to second on a sac bunt. A balk moved Reaves to third before he scored on a passed ball to give the Crimson Tide a 2-0 lead after one inning of play.
Ole Miss answered in the second, using a double from Will Allen, a single from Zach Kirksey and a wild pitch to set up a two run inning. Allen scored on a groundout to second from Andrew Mistone that moved Kirksey to third. A groundout to second from Preston Overbey in the next at bat brought Kirksey home and knotted the score at two.
The Rebels took the lead for the first time in the third inning on an RBI single fro Yarbrough before moving out to a 4-2 lead in the sixth inning thanks to an RBI triple from Mistone.
Alabama responded in the bottom half of the inning with a single from Ben Moore that scored Josh Rosecrans who opened the frame with a triple. Moore stole second and then scored on a double from Brett Booth to even the score at four.
Ole Miss broke things open in the seventh, getting the first two men on base before Yarbrough came up with his single through the right side to drive in two runs and spark a seven run inning. The Rebels scored seven runs on seven hits in the seventh to claim an 11-4 lead on the Crimson Tide and put the game out of reach.
Alabama came up with a single run in the seventh and two more runs in the eighth – one off a solo home run from Dugas – but could get no more as the Rebels closed things out for the 11-7 win to open the weekend series.
Ole Miss and Alabama will take the field again for game two of the series at 2:05 p.m. on Saturday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium on campus at the University of Alabama.
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