OXFORD, Miss. - It didn't take much out of the Rebel bats today, but Ole Miss (26-12, 9-6) escaped with a 5-2 victory over Memphis to complete the season sweep of the Tigers. The Rebels were actually outhit by the Tigers, 4-3, but strong starting pitching out of Zack Phillips in his eighth start of the season and quality relief work from the Ole Miss bullpen carried the home team to a Tuesday night victory.
The Rebels put up a four spot in the home half of the fourth inning on a slew of walks and few timely hits, and it proved to be enough as the Ole Miss pitching staff managed to put up mostly zeroes on the top half of the scoreboard.
Of the three Ole Miss hits, two of them were bunts owing to Josh Hall and Anthony Servideo, while the one hit to escape the infield belonged to Cole Zabowksi. The Rebel first baseman had the team's first hit of the night in the fourth inning, an RBI double that would jumpstart the four-run frame for Ole Miss.
On the mound, Phillips went 6.0 innings off the start, his second-longest outing this season, and only allowed two runs, one in the fifth and another an inning later. The junior finished his night with six strikeouts and two walks on just a pair of hits.
Houston Roth started out the seventh inning, but after allowing a pair of baserunners, his night came to an early end as head coach Mike Bianco elected to turn to reliever Austin Miller just one out into Roth's appearance. Miller would go 1.2 innings and take the Rebels to the final frame of the contest, after inheriting a pair of baserunners and stranding them with two quick outs.
Miller did not allow a hit or a run and picked up two strikeouts on the day. He entered the game with the team's lowest ERA (of pitchers with more than 1.0 IP) at 1.69, and exited the contest with a 1.60 mark.
Closer Parker Caracci capped off a solid night on the mound with a quick ninth inning, forcing a 3-6 double play on a soft lineout to close out the game and earn his seventh save of the year.
At the plate, there wasn't much offense to boast for the SEC's second-leading run scoring team, but the Rebels got it done with timely hits and managed to coast to a victory with minimal offensive production.
Ole Miss only had three hits, and all three of them came in the fourth inning. After Cooper Johnson reached on an error by the shortstop, Zabowski sent him home with an RBI double over the head of the left fielder. Servideo followed it up with a bunt single before Zabowski came rumbling home on a wild pitch.
Tim Elko added an RBI on a groundout to the first baseman, before Hall followed in the steps of Servideo for another bunt single, this time scoring the Rebel second baseman. After all was said in done, Ole Miss had plated four runs on three hits and one Tiger error in the inning.
The only other run for the home team would come a few innings later, in the seventh, when a Grae Kessinger walk would come back around to bite the Tigers after a stolen base and consecutive errant throws and catches from the Tiger battery.
The Rebel win over the Tigers is the second this year after a 9-6 victory in AutoZone Park earlier this year. Ole Miss will be back in action this weekend in Auburn as they look to bounce back in SEC play after a series loss to Kentucky last weekend.
- Ole Miss improves to 26-12 on the year, and 97-53 all-time against Memphis.
- Head Coach Mike Bianco now ranks fourth on the SEC's all-time wins list with 736 victories since his tenure at Ole Miss began.
- The Rebels swept the Tigers this season, with each win coming by three runs apiece.
- Parker Caracci earned his seventh save of the year today with a shutdown ninth inning.
- Freshman Josh Hall started his first career game today, and even recorded a hit and an RBI on a bunt single in the fourth inning.
- Austin Miller has been a force in the Rebel bullpen all season. After 1.2 scoreless innings today, he still remains the staff leader in ERA (of pitchers with more than 1.0 IP) with a 1.60 clip.
- Junior shortstop Grae Kessinger extended his reached base streak to 26 games today with a pair of walks.
- Junior Cole Zabowski also extended a streak, and has now recorded a hit in 12 straight games.