OXFORD, Miss. -- In front of 10,119 fans, the largest crowd of the season and sixth-most in Swayze Field history, sophomore Brady Bramlett and senior Scott Weathersby out-dueled Alabama, 4-0, to complete doubleheader sweep Saturday and claim the weekend series for the Ole Miss baseball team. The doubleheader sweep of the Crimson Tide (22-20, 7-13 SEC) marked the second doubleheader sweep in eight opportunities for the Rebels (23-21, 10-10 SEC) this season.
"We played well for 18 innings," head coach Mike Bianco said. "We swung it well in the first game. We got some good pitching. (Christian) Trent was terrific, giving up just one earned run and then we get a shutout in the second game.
Bramlett (5-2) went a career-long 7.1 innings, shutting out Alabama and limiting the Crimson Tide to just four hits. Bramlett also struck out nine batters with no walks, and he was one strikeout shy of recording his third double-digit strikeout game of the season. Weathersby (3) worked a perfect 1.2 innings of relief with two strikeouts to pick up the save. As a team, the Rebels struck out 11 batters compared to zero walks.
"He was terrific," said Bianco of Bramlett. "His fastball command was terrific today. When he can really locate the fastball on both sides of the plates and then extend the zone, he's so tough."
Junior left fielder Connor Cloyd (2-for-3) and senior Austin Knight (2-for-4) each tallied a multi-hit game. Cloyd drove in what proved to be the game-winning run in the contest, while Knight and senior first baseman Sikes Orvis provided some insurance with a pair of home runs in the eighth. Orvis blasted a two-run home run for his ninth of the season, while Knight's solo blast was the first of his Ole Miss career.
Jake Walters (4-2) went seven innings, allowing one run on six hits and four walks as the Rebels handed the Alabama freshman his second loss of the season. At the plate, left fielder Chandler Avant recorded two of the Crimson Tide's four hits.
Bramlett struck out the side around a one-out double in the first. He faced the minimum in the second, third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings and stranded a runner at second in the fourth.
Ole Miss loaded the bases in the first, but the Rebels were unable to push a run across in the frame. The Rebels broke through in the fifth with three straight singles by Tate Blackman, Cameron Dishon and Cloyd, who drove in Blackman with an RBI single to left. Ole Miss loaded the bases later in the inning, but they were unable to add to its lead.
Alabama put the would-be, game-tying run at second base after a one-out double in the eighth. However, Weathersby came on in relief, striking out the first batter and then getting a lineout to second for the final out of the inning.
"That's the guy you want to come in there," said Bianco of Weathersby. "He's been in that situation so many times. And then, against (Alabama's Will) Haynie, where you probably want to go breaking ball, we go breaking ball, and he's overthrowing his breaking ball, but he ends up getting him with the fastball. And then we get a little bit of a break with a line drive hit right at (Will) Golsan to end the inning."
In the bottom of the inning, Orvis gave Weatherby and the Rebels some insurance with a two-run home run to right. Two batters later, Knight followed with a solo shot to left, sending the game to the ninth with Ole Miss leading 4-0. For Orvis, it was his team-leading ninth home run of the season, the 27th of his career, while it was the first career home run for Knight.
"Sikes put the nail in the coffin," Bramlett said. "When I came out and Scott came behind me, I knew we were going to win. I have all the confidence in the world in Scott, but it helps when your Big Puma (Sikes Orvis) puts some runs on the board."
Ole Miss goes for the weekend sweep in the series finale Sunday with first pitch set for noon on ESPN. The game will also be broadcast on the Ole Miss Radio Network.