JONESBORO, Ark. – The Rebels got nine runs on three swings of the bat as Ole Miss (25-20) got three home runs – including a grand slam from Miles Hamblin – to rally to an 11-9 win over Arkansas State (22-25) on Wednesday night at Tomlinson Field.
Hamblin’s grand slam in the in the fourth inning tied the game before Matt Snyder hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning to give the Rebels the lead for good. It was Snyder’s second home run of the night as he hit a two-run shot in the first inning.
Snyder finished the game with a 3-for-4 performance, six RBI and three runs scored as one of four Rebels to notch multiple-hits on the night.
R.J. Hively (1-2) picked up his first win of the year as he worked a season-long 3.0 innings and struck out a season-high five batters while holding the Red Wolves in check to allow the Rebels a chance to rally. Hively allowed one run on five hits in his time on the mound.
John Koch (2-1) took the loss for Arkansas State as he allowed three runs on three hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 1.0 inning of work.
“It’s a tough game and it will challenge you,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “Just when you think things are about to turn, things can change. We got knocked down a couple of times tonight, but the guys kept getting right back up. I’m proud of the way they hung in there.
“R.J. Hively really gave us a chance to catch our breath. He pitched great. He put some zeros up on the board and gave us a chance to win tonight.”
Ole Miss got on the board early, pushing three runs home in the first inning on a Matt Smith single that scored Tanner Mathis from second and a two-run home run from Snyder. After the top of the first, the Rebels held a 3-0 lead for starter Matt Tracy.
The Red Wolves responded in the bottom half of the inning, tying the game on five straight singles and an error before a wild pitch gave the home team a 4-3 lead. Following a walk, to put two men on with one out, the Rebels turned to freshman Mike Mayers out of the bullpen.
A two-out rally in the second pushed the Red Wolves out to a 5-3 lead before two more runs in the third inning gave the home team a 7-3 lead on the Rebels.
That was erased in the fourth as Ole Miss strung together three straight singles before Miles Hamblin came up with a grand slam to tie the game at seven.
The Rebels moved back into the lead in the fifth inning as Matt Snyder hit his second home run of the game, a three-run shot to right field that scored Blake Newalu and Jordan Poole. Newalu was hit by a pitch before Poole walked to put two men on before the Snyder hit that gave Ole Miss the 10-7 lead.
Hively held the Red Wolves off the board in the fourth and fifth before Arkansas State would push single runs across in the sixth and seventh to cut the lead to 10-9 in favor of the Rebels.
The Rebels got a run back in the eighth, loading the bases for Snyder. A fielding error at third on a ground ball allowed a run to score and put Ole Miss back in front by two runs at 11-9.
Ole Miss held the Red Wolves off the board from there as Huber worked a scoreless eighth inning and Wahl picked up his fourth save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning to give the Rebels the win.
Ole Miss returns to action on Friday with the first game of a three-game series against No. 2 South Carolina. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
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