JONESBORO, Ark. -- Senior Sikes Orvis continued to knock the cover off the ball, going 3-for-3 with a career-high eight RBI to lead the Ole Miss baseball team to a 17-3 victory over Arkansas State Tuesday night, May 12, in the final non-conference game of the regular season. With the seven-inning win over the Red Wolves (23-27), the Rebels (29-24) increased their season-high winning streak to five games heading into the final SEC weekend series.
Orvis flexed his muscles once again, recording his second straight multi-homer game and third in the past five contests. He blasted his first career grand slam in the first and added a three-run homer in the second. The senior slugger increased his season total to 16 and took over 10th in the Ole Miss record book with his 34th career home run. Orvis added a RBI double in the seventh to bring his total to eight for the game, the most by a Rebel this century.
"I was just trying to drive guys in," mentioned Orvis. "As a middle of the order guy, my job is to knock guys in and get RBI."
Alongside Orvis, three other Rebels tallied multi-hit games. Sophomore Errol Robinson went 3-for-4, including a three-run blast for the first home run of his career. Freshmen Will Golsan and Kyle Watson added two hits apiece. Playing in his sixth consecutive contest, freshman designated hitter Nic Perkins singled to increase his hitting streak to six games.
"Looking down the box score tonight with multiple hits, that's huge," noted head coach Mike Bianco.
Freshman Will Stokes (2-5) pitched 4.1 scoreless innings of relief to earn the victory on the mound for Ole Miss as he allowed only three hits.
Ole Miss got nine runs off ASU starting pitcher Collin Nord (0-2) and followed with eight runs (four earned) off Bo Ritter. At the plate, Matt Burgess recorded three of the Red Wolves' seven hits throughout the night.
The Rebels used their first four hitters in the lineup to take the early 4-0 lead. Robinson and Golsan starting things off with base hits before Bortles walked to load the bases for Orvis. Working the count full, the first baseman cleared the bases with a bomb to right field, giving Ole Miss the early four-run advantage.
Orvis returned in the second only to leave the yard once again. After Bortles knocked in a run with the bases juiced, Orvis played long ball for the second time in as many at-bats and innings. The three-run home run gave the senior seven RBI in two innings, and a second consecutive four-run inning made it an 8-0 ballgame.
After Arkansas State scored its first two runs of the game in the bottom of the second, the Rebels added a run in their next appearance at the plate as J.B. Woodman scored on a sacrifice fly by Watson. Stokes, who entered the game in the second, held the Red Wolves scoreless to keep Ole Miss on top 9-2 after three innings of play.
Stokes continued to keep the ASU bats at-bay, tossing up four straight scoreless innings. The Rebels added another run in the fifth during that stretch before putting up a seven spot in the top of the seventh. Robinson hit a three-run homer, Orvis doubled in his eighth RBI of the game, and Henri Lartigue smacked a pinch-hit RBI double to the right-center gap as part of the big inning. When the half frame came to a close, the Rebels found themselves leading by 15, 17-2.
Arkansas State added a run in the bottom half of the seventh, but sophomore Evan Anderson forced a ground ball for the final out of the game.
Following the final midweek game of the 2015 regular season, the Rebels return to Swayze Field to host one of the nation's top-ranked teams in Texas A&M in the last SEC weekend series of 2015. The Diamond Rebels and Aggies will open up the three-game set on Thursday night, May 14, at 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPNU. Game two of the series is set for May 15 with a 6:30 p.m. first pitch, while the series concludes on Sunday, May 16, at 1:30 p.m.