TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- In front of a sellout crowd at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, the No. 8 Ole Miss baseball team didn't give the home fans much to cheer for, shutting out Alabama 4-0. A trio of arms combined to pitch the shutout of the Crimson Tide (20-14, 6-7 SEC), giving the Rebels (26-8, 7-6 SEC) their fifth straight Southeastern Conference victory.
Ole Miss starting pitcher Brady Bramlett (6-2) was electric once again, holding the opposition scoreless for the second straight outing. The redshirt junior tossed six scoreless frames, limiting Alabama to three hits and recording six strikeouts. With the quality start, Bramlett increased his scoreless innings streak to 13.0.
The dynamic duo of Will Stokes and Wyatt Short (6) out of the bullpen completed the shutout. Stokes tossed a scoreless seventh inning, while Short nailed down the game by retiring all six batters in the final two frames. The save was Short's sixth of the season and 19th for this career, passing Scott Bittle for fourth on the Rebels' all-time saves list.
Ole Miss scored four runs on five hits, breaking open a 1-0 ballgame with a three-run ninth. Tate Blackman and Errol Robinson increased their hitting streaks to nine and seven games, respectively. Blackman crossed the plate twice on the evening.
Alabama starter Geoffrey Bramblett (3-2) was the hard-luck loser on one unearned run through 7.0 innings. The Crimson Tide ace limited the Rebels to just two hits and struck out eight. Leadoff hitter Chandler Avant tallied two of the only four hits Alabama was able to record off Ole Miss pitching.
After a scoreless first two innings, the Rebels scored in an unusual way in the top of the third, taking advantage of an Alabama miscue. Ryan Olenek singled up the middle to begin the inning before advancing to second on a walk. With one out, Blackman hit a grounder to third, and Olenek found himself in the pickle. After Olenek got caught in the run down, Blackman decided to be aggressive and try to reach second. In an attempt to turn the double play on the base path, third baseman Chance Vincent's throw to second squirted away and into the outfield. Blackman continued to round the bases and crossed the plate on the two-base error, giving Ole Miss the early 1-0 lead.
The game remained a pitcher's duel between Bramlett and Bramblett. Both starters limited the opposition to just two hits through the first five innings. In the bottom of the sixth, the Crimson Tide loaded the bases with one out. However, Bramlett remained calm under pressure and struck out back-to-back UA hitters to end the threat. Keeping Alabama off the board, the Ole Miss ace made sure the Rebels maintained a one-run advantage through six frames.
In the seventh, Stokes continued the trend of throwing up a zero on the scoreboard. The sophomore retired the first two batters before two Alabama hitters reached base. Nonetheless, a flyout to right-center field ended the inning.
Short entered the game in the eighth looking to close the door on the Crimson Tide. The lefty recorded two strikeouts in his first inning of work.
The Rebels added a little breathing room with three runs in the ninth. Blackman led off the inning with a double to the right-center gap and advanced to third on a deep flyball by Colby Bortles to left field. Trailing by one, Alabama brought its infield in for a play at the plate, and that's exactly what happened. Henri Lartigue hit a groundball to second, but Blackman beat the throw home to put Ole Miss up 2-0. After both Rebels were safe on the play, Golsan doubled to put two runners in scoring position for Holt Perdzock. The senior pinch hitter did his job as a groundout to first plated Lartigue. Robinson kept the rally going with an RBI single to increase the cushion to four runs.
With a comfortable lead, Short came back out for the ninth and sent the Crimson Tide down in order, securing the series opener for the Rebels.
Ole Miss will look to clinch the series tomorrow afternoon, April 16. Sophomore David Parkinson will square off against Alabama sophomore Jake Walters. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on SECN+ and can be heard on the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network.
- Brady Bramlett did not allow a run for the second straight start, increasing his scoreless innings streak to 13.0.
- In two career starts versus Alabama, Bramlett has been lights out: 13.1 innings, 0 runs, 7 hits, 15 strikeouts, 3 walks.
- Tate Blackman increased his reached base streak to 20 games and hitting streak to nine games.
- An RBI single in the ninth increased Errol Robinson's hitting streak to seven games.
- Wyatt Short collected his 19th career save to pass Scott Bittle for fourth on the Rebels' all-time list.
- Coincidentally, Ole Miss' last shutout also came in a 4-0 victory against Alabama, April 25, 2015.