OXFORD, Miss. - For the second day in a row, No. 8 Ole Miss blew out Princeton in yet another rout over the Tigers to take the series and give Ole Miss their 13th straight victory, their longest such winning streak since 1964.
The Rebels once again used a big inning to jump ahead of the Tigers early with a six-run fourth, added insurance on a big home run from Tim Elko in the seventh, and left no doubt with another nine runs scored in the eighth.
The offense was firing on all cylinders, but it was another big day for the starting pitcher as Gunnar Hoglund held the Princeton bats to just one unearned run in six innings of work. The Ole Miss starter struck out twelve opposing batters, walked zero, and allowed just five hits as he worked to his fourth consecutive start of at least 5.0 IP.
The Rebels were held hitless through the first two and a third as Princeton raced out to an early 1-0 start, but just like yesterday, the Ole Miss lineup was able to use a big inning to jump ahead of the Tigers.
In the fourth inning, after Peyton Chatagnier and Tyler Keenan both reached to start out the inning, Cael Baker brought them both home with a two-RBI double to the wall. A walk and a single loaded the bases before the Tigers were able to record an out when Kevin Graham plated another run with a sacrifice fly to left field. Justin Bench had the biggest at bat of the inning, a two-RBI double that he smashed to left on his first pitch, while Anthony Servideo capped the inning with another sacrifice fly for the sixth run of the frame.
The Rebels jumped out to a 6-1 lead after four complete, and Hoglund ensured that the Tigers wouldn't be doing any more damage anytime soon.
His only run allowed came unearned in the third inning, and he would go on to complete six full innings with 10 strikeouts, zero walks and just five hits allowed. So far this season, the Saturday starter has allowed just three earned runs in four starts, and has worked up to 37 strikeouts on the season, far surpassing his mark this time last year of just eight.
Drew McDaniel took over for Hoglund in the seventh, and though he was able to quickly record two outs, his day ended early after the freshman allowed a three-run homer that cut the Rebel lead to just two.
Elko, however, ensured that Princeton's homer would not go unanswered with his own three-run blast in the bottom half of the frame. After two runners were able to reach with two outs, Elko made the pitcher pay with a three-run bomb to dead center field that bounced off the top of the batter's eye for a 421 foot homer.
The Rebels added nine more runs in the bottom of the eighth and were aided by seven walks issued from Princeton pitchers to go along with a pair of doubles from Jerrion Ealy in the one inning alone.
Jackson Kimbrell closed it out in the ninth as he worked with a comfortable 14-run lead, and Ole Miss was easily able to secure the win on Saturday and walk away with a series victory over the Tigers.
The Rebels will go for the series sweep tomorrow against Princeton with a first pitch set for high noon.
- Ole Miss improves to 13-1 on the year, and 2-0 all-time vs. Princeton through two games.
- The Rebels have now won 13 games in a row, their longest winning streak since 1964.
- Ole Miss has notched a double digit run total in back-to-back games for the first time this season.
- Every single weekend starter this year has gone at least 5.0 IP after another solid outing from Hoglund today.
- Through four starts last year, Hoglund had just eight strikeouts, compared to his 37 through four starts this year.
- Justin Bench and Tyler Keenan have both reached base in every single game this season.
- Tim Elko hit his third homer of the year today, and the 27th on the season for this Rebel club.
- Through six appearances, Max Cioffi still hasn't allowed a walk or earned run and has 12 strikeouts through 8.0 IP.
- Jerrion Ealy hit his first career double today in the eighth inning and hit his second later in the same inning.
- Cael Baker recorded his first multi-hit game today since Feb. 15 versus Louisville.