OXFORD, Miss. – The Rebel offense put together a nine-run fourth inning and got solid relief pitching to hold the Thoroughbreds in check as No. 24 Ole Miss (30-16) defeated Murray State (21-25) by a score of 11-5 on Wednesday night at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
After falling behind early when Murray State put four runs across the plate in the first inning, the Ole Miss offense came alive – paced by three multiple-hit performances – and rallied to claim the win heading into the
Chris Ellis (4-0) picked up the win in relief, entering the game in the first inning with the bases loaded and the Rebels down four runs. He struck out the first batter faced on his way to 4.1 scoreless innings of work and allowed three hits with five strikeouts.
Kyle Cornett (3-3) suffered the loss, allowing eight runs – five earned – on seven hits with three walks and strikeout in 3.1 innings of work.
“This game was a game that we needed. We needed a game that we won offensively. They came out swinging the bats well. They are a team that scores a lot of runs. We needed to fall behind early and hit our way out of it. Chris Ellis was a big part of our success. He was able to have four scoreless innings and that helped. It was good too that we put together that big inning. We stayed patient.”
Murray State jumped out to the early lead, loading the bases with a pair of singles and a walk for the first three batters. An RBI single brought home the first two runs before a sac fly would make it 3-0 for the Thoroughbreds. A fielding error at short loaded the bases for a second time in the inning before a two-out single brought home the fourth run.
A hit batter loaded the bases for the third time in the inning and the Rebels called in Ellis out of the bullpen who struck out the lead-off hitter to end the inning.
Ole Miss then used the big fourth inning to move in front for good, plating nine runs and sending 13 men to the plate.
It started with a lead-off double from Will Allen before a John Gatlin single up the middle brought Allen home. A walk of Auston Bousfield put two men on and brought Preston Overbey to the plate. Overbey laid down a sac bunt, but a throwing error by the Murray State third baseman allowed Overbey to reach safely, Gatlin to score and Bousfield to move to third on the play. Anderson then lay down a sac bunt to advance Overbey and score Bousfield and the game was tied at four.
Ole Miss would go on to get an RBI double and an RBI single from Tanner Mathis and Andrew Mistone in back-to-back at bats to put the Rebels on top 6-4. Yarbrough then walked before Allen came up with his second hit in the inning, an RBI single through the left side to continue the scoring and put the score at 7-4.
Zach Kirksey then delivered a two-RBI double to left that hit the top of the wall and bounced back into the field of play. A Bousfield RBI single capped the scoring in the inning and left the score at 10-4.
Murray State cut the lead back to five runs with a sac fly in the seventh inning, but Ole Miss pushed it back out to a six-run lead with a single run in the eighth inning when Austin Knight came up with an RBI single to left to make it 11-5.
The Rebels will return to action this weekend, hosting No. 4 LSU in a three-game series at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field. Friday night’s series opener is set for a 6:30 p.m.
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