OXFORD, Miss. -- Sophomore Colby Bortles hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and senior Sikes Orvis added another as the Ole Miss baseball team soared past UT Martin 11-1, Wednesday afternoon, April 15. With the victory, the Rebels (19-18) have won three-straight heading into another weekend of conference play, while the Skyhawks drop to 10-24 with the loss.
With his grand slam and solo home run, Bortles became the first Rebel to record a multi-homer game since his teammate Orvis accomplished the feat against Missouri, March 22, 2014. The Oviedo, Fla. native has hit two grand slams over the past three games, increasing his season home run total to six. Bortles now has three career grand slams, and they have all been the last three hit by the Rebels. He earned his second five-RBI game of the year, notching his career-high total against William & Mary in the opening series finale.
"My swing feels good when I'm driving the ball the other way," Bortles noted.
Orvis completed the back-to-back homers with his eighth of the season. The senior first baseman reached base four times on the afternoon by drawing three walks at the dish. Sophomore J.B. Woodman added a pair of hits as Ole Miss smacked 10 total on the afternoon.
Senior Sam Smith earned the victory on the mound, going six innings and allowing just one run on four hits. The start was Smith's 50th of his career, tying Kenny Carlyle for second in program history.
Once again, the Rebel relievers were fantastic; the trio of Scott Ashford, Drake Robison and Matt Denny combined for three scoreless innings without allowing a hit. The Ole Miss bullpen increased its scoreless streak to 21.0 innings, including keeping opponents off the scoreboard in the last four games.
Right fielder Taylor Douglas scored UT Martin's only run on a solo homer to left field, his eighth of the season. Douglas went 2-for-3 at the plate to account for half of the Skyhawks' hits. On the mound, starter Jackson Zarubin (0-2) suffered the loss by giving up four runs on four hits in two innings.
The Rebels opened up the scoring in the second inning. Ole Miss tallied four runs with the help of four infield singles by Austin Knight, Holt Perdzock, Tate Blackman and Woodman. Two of the knocks were hit hard, but stopped by the shortstop, while Blackman and Woodman beat out their infield base hits. With the bases loaded, Connor Cloyd and Errol Robinson added RBI walks to give Ole Miss the 4-0 through the first two innings.
Two innings later, Ole Miss added five more runs to the board, including four with one swing of the bat. With one out, the Rebels loaded the bases once again for Bortles. After hitting a grand slam to tie the game against No. 1 Vanderbilt only five days ago, the sophomore cleared the bases again with a full-count blast to right field. In the very next at bat, Orvis decided to join in on the fun with a solo homer of his own to right field, giving the Rebels back-to-back home runs and a 9-0 lead.
Bortles' day was not finished. In the bottom of the sixth, he drove a pitch opposite field for his second home run of the game to give Ole Miss a 10-1 advantage. The Rebels added one more in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Cameron Dishon to increase the lead to double digits, while the bullpen shut down the Skyhawk bats through the final three innings.
Following the midweek game at home, the Rebels pack up and hit the road once again for SEC play. Ole Miss travels to Auburn to face the Tigers in a three-game set beginning Friday night, April 17, at 6:00 p.m. CT. Game two of the series will follow Saturday after with a first pitch set for 3:00 p.m. CT. The series finale will take place on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. CT. All games will be broadcast on SEC Network+ as well as the airwaves of the Ole Miss Radio Network.