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No. 8 Rebels' offense heats up in 16-2 win

928 days ago
Ole Miss Athletics
Photo: Ole Miss Athletics

ATLANTA - No. 8 Ole Miss baseball scored early and often and cruised to a 16-2 win Wednesday afternoon over Georgia State in Atlanta.

The Rebels (17-1) pounded out 14 hits, including home runs by Cole Zabowski and Tim Elko, to score a season-high 16 runs and sweep the midweek series over the Panthers. Freshman Jordan Fowler threw five innings of one-hit baseball, striking out three, to improve to 3-0 on the season.

Ole Miss improved to 17-1 on the season and are off to one of the best starts in school history. The Rebels started 19-1 in 2013 and 18-1 in 2004. The win today tied the 17-1 start by the 2016 squad.

Zabowski and Ryan Olenek paced the Rebels with three hits each. Conner Green worked two innings in relief, striking out one. Pierce Smith, Austin Miller and Colin Coates also saw action on the mound for the Rebels.

Ole Miss wasted no time getting on the board in the top half of the first inning against Georgia State (11-6) starter Brandon Baker. After an Olenek single and two walks, Chase Cockrell doubled to right center to clear the bases. One batter later, Zabowski singled to left to score Cockrell from second to give the Rebels an early 4-0 lead.

Ole Miss added to its lead in the top of the third when Zabowski hit a towering three-run shot over the scoreboard in right field to stretch the lead to 7-0. Zabowski finished the game 3-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored.

The Rebels tacked on one run in the fourth and then two more in the sixth on a Nick Fortes two-RBI single. The Ole Miss lead would balloon to 14-0 after a four-run seventh inning that was capped by a Thomas Dillard single that scored Michael Spears and Anthony Servideo.

Tim Elko gave the Rebels a 16-0 lead in the top of the eighth inning after a two-run home run to right field. It was the first-career home run for the freshman from Lutz, Florida.

Georgia State eliminated any notion of a shutout in the eighth inning when GSU's Tanner Gallman hit a line drive over a leaping Olenek to plate two and close out the scoring at 16-2.

Ole Miss will now turn its attention to conference play as the Rebels host Tennessee (12-6) this upcoming weekend for the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. First pitch for Friday is slated for 7 p.m.