OXFORD, Miss. – The Rebels turned in a solid pitching and defensive performance on Tuesday, sweeping both games of a doubleheader as No. 18 Ole Miss (23-10) defeated Central Arkansas (13-17) by scores of 2-1 and 4-0.
The starters claimed the win in both games with Sam Smith (2-2) taking the win in game one, while Josh Laxer (3-0) picked up the win in game two in a predetermined start. Brett Huber picked up his seventh save of the season, working the final inning in game one.
“I thought we played well today in both games,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We were very clean and had great defense all day long. There were so many great plays and diving catches. We put some at-bats together and were able to throw a lot of our guys.
“I thought we were really clean on the mound and had some good pitches,” Bianco said. “It was good to get Dylan Chavez and (Brett) Huber in the game. The rest of the guys looked great. (Josh) Laxer, Casey Mulholland, Jon Andy Scott and Chris Ellis were all very good.”
GAME 1 - NO. 18 OLE MISS 2, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 1
The Rebels got off to a quick start in the first game, scoring a run in the first inning when Tanner Mathis came home from second on a single to left center from Matt Snyder. Mathis opened the game with a single up the middle and took second on a groundout to first from Alex Yarbrough to set up the score on the Snyder hit.
Central Arkansas tied the game at one in the fourth when Jonathan Davis scored from third on a passed ball. Davis doubled to left field before taking third on a sac bunt from Ethan Harris to set up the score with two outs on the passed ball.
Ole Miss moved in front for good with a single run in the fifth. Auston Bousfield singled through the left side to start things off and moved to second on a sac bunt from Austin Knight. He then advanced to third on a throwing error on a ground ball to third. A second sac bunt in the inning, this one laid perfectly down the first base line by Austin Anderson, brought Bousfield home and put the Rebels on top 2-1.
Chavez worked a scoreless sixth and Huber closed things out with a scoreless seventh inning to give Ole Miss the win in game one of the twin bill.
Smith (2-2) picked up the win, working 5.0 innings and allowing the one unearned run on two hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
GAME 2 – NO. 18 OLE MISS 4, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 0
Ole Miss again got off to a quick start in the second game of the day, pushing a second run across the plate in the first inning. For the second straight game, Mathis opened things up with a single, this time an infield hit to short, and scored on a single through the right side from Snyder three batters later.
This time, Central Arkansas wouldn’t put together an answering rally while the Rebels continued to build on the lead.
Ole Miss added a pair of runs in the third inning to take the lead out to 3-0. Three straight first-pitch singles loaded the bases for Ole Miss before Mathis scored his second run of the day on a double play ball to second from Snyder. Will Allen then singled to right center with two outs to bring Will Jamison home and the Rebels were up 3-0 before Central Arkansas would get out of the inning.
A fourth run came across the plate in the fifth inning when Snyder scored from third on a wild pitch. The Rebel first baseman doubled with one out before moving to third on a throwing error by the Central Arkansas third baseman off a ground ball from Allen. He then came home on the errant pitch to make it 4-0 Rebels.
The score held as Ole Miss kept the Bears off the board the rest of the way to sweep the doubleheader.
Laxer (3-0) picked up the win in a predetermined start, working 2.0 innings while allowing only one hit with a walk and a strikeout.
The Rebels will return to action with a three-game series starting Thursday at Georgia. The first game of the series will begin at 6:30 p.m. CT and is televised by ESPNU as the SEC Game of the Week. Game two will begin at 6 p.m. CT on Friday and the series finale will be played at noon CT on Saturday.
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