OXFORD, Miss. –Chris Ellis was solid in his first career start and the Rebel bullpen took advantage of an early offensive showing to help No. 16 Ole Miss (18-7) post a 12-0 shutout over Jackson State (16-8) on Tuesday night at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
Chris Ellis (2-0) picked up the win in a predetermined start, working 4.0 scoreless innings and allowing only one hit with six strikeouts. Ole Miss’ bullpen kept things in check from there as five more pitchers combined for the shutout over the Tigers.
Desmond Russell (4-2) took the loss for Jackson State, allowing seven runs on nine hits with three walks and a strikeout in 5.0 innings of work.
The Rebels jumped out of the gates with a four-run first inning, sparked by a three-run home run from Zach Kirksey, and never looked back on the way to the 12-0 win. It was Kirksey’s ninth home run of the season.
“We played really well tonight,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We got off to a really good start with (Zach) Kirksey’s home run, and Chris Ellis was good in his first collegiate start. He was aggressive and able to fight through the first two innings. I was proud of the way we kept it clean and played well defensively.
“There were a lot of good nights on offense,” Bianco said. “Will Jamison had a terrific night. A lot of guys played well for us tonight. It doesn’t happen often that you get that many innings out of your relievers, and the best thing was that they all pitched well.”
An Alex Yarbrough double with two outs got things started in the first inning before Yarbrough came home on a single to right from Matt Snyder. Will Allen walked in the next at bat before Kirksey delivered his three-run shot to make it 4-0 in favor of the home team.
Ole Miss pushed two more runs across in the fourth inning to stake a claim to a 7-0 lead. Preston Overbey singled and Jamison walked to get things started before both runners came home on back-to-back singles from Mathis and Anderson.
The lead continued to grow for the Rebels from there with two more runs in the sixth inning before Ole Miss would cap the scoring with a three-run eighth inning on an RBI-single from John Gatlin and a two-RBI single from Overbey.
The Rebels will return to action this weekend, hosting the nation’s top-ranked team in the Florida Gators. Ole Miss and Florida kick-off the three-game set at 6:30 p.m. on Friday night in a game televised by SunSports. The two teams will then play again at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and conclude the series at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.
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