BLOG: Hello again from Oxford-University Stadium where the Ole Miss Rebels (15-4 overall, 1-0 SEC) and Alabama Crimson Tide (11-7, 0-1) will face off at 2 p.m. on SportSouth and ESPN3.comThe Diamond Rebels claimed Game 1 on Friday 4-0 thanks to 7.0 strong innings from left-handed ace Matt Crouse, who helped hand Alabama its first loss since the 2008 season.
Below are interviews with closer Jake Morgan and outfielder Zach Kirksey that were conducted following Ole Miss’ win. Morgan pitched 2.1 scoreless innings to earn his fifth save of the season while Kirksey hit a two-run homer over the left field wall to get Ole Miss on the scoreboard.
SCORES FROM AROUND THE SEC:
Ole Miss 4, Alabama 0
Arkansas 6, Auburn 5 (11 inn.)
Florida 5, LSU 4
Georgia 4, South Carolina 2
Kentucky 5, Tennessee 3
Vanderbilt 10, Mississippi State 0
LOOK WHO’S STARTING: Getting the nod for Ole Miss today will be right-handed flame-thrower David Goforth. After battling through a tough 2010 season, Goforth has found success this season thanks in large part to adding a cutter to his pitching repertoire.
Despite an 0-2 record — in large part due to a lack of run support — Goforth does boast a 2.42 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 14-to-8. Opponents are also hitting .247 off of him.
Alabama, meanwhile, is sending left-hander Adam Morgan to the mound.
Morgan is 2-1 on the year with a 3.74 ERA in 21.2 innings. He has struck out 19 batters and walked five. Opponents are hitting .259 off of him, the highest opponents batting average of Alabama’s three weekend starters.
ALABAMA (11-7 overall, 0-1)
CF Taylor Dugas .369 BA
C Brock Bennett .418
SS Jared Reaves .391
1B Austen Smith .236
DH David Kindred .302
2B Jon Kelton .222
RF Austin Miller .256
3B James Tullidge .273
LF Jeremiah Tullidge .176
LHP Adam Morgan 2-1, 3.74 ERA
OLE MISS (15-4, 1-0)
CF Tanner Mathis .310
2B Alex Yarbrough .290
RF Matt Smith .263
DH Matt Snyder .303
3B Preston Overbey .297
LF Matt Tracy .327
1B Will Allen .267
C Miles Hamblin .281
SS Blake Newalu .340
RHP David Goforth 0-2, 2.42
Alabama 2, Ole Miss 0 (TOP 4): Alabama struck first today as a single from Andrew Miller in the top of the fourth inning scored former Rebel David Kindred and Jon Kelton without a throw home.
Alabama 2, Ole Miss 1 (BOTTOM 4): Matt Smith broke up Adam Morgan‘s perfect game in grand fashion in the bottom of the fourth inning by belting a pitch from the left-hander over the left field wall.
Alabama 3, Ole Miss 1 (TOP 5): Taylor Dugas extended Alabama’s lead in the top of the fifth. After leading off the frame with a single up the middle and advancing to second base on a sacrifice bunt, Dugas then moved to third on a wild pitch and scored easily on a sacrifice fly to right field by Austen Smith.
Alabama 6, Ole Miss 1 (Top 6): The sixth inning got away from Ole Miss as Alabama scored three runs on three hits, one walk and one error to push its lead to 6-1.
Alabama 6, Ole Miss 5 (BOTTOM 6): Ole Miss retaliated with 4 runs in the bottom of the sixth scoring four runs on four hits. After Blake Newalu, Tanner Mathis and Alex Yarbrough each singled to open the frame, Morgan walked Matt Smith to plate the Rebels’ second run of the game. After a ground out by Matt Snyder scored another run, the Rebels plated two more courtesy of an infield single by Preston Overbey. (After Yarbrough scored easily on the hit to the left side of the infield, the first baseman bobbled the throw from the shortstop in an attempt to get Overbey out at first and Smith was able to slide home under the late throw from first baseman Austen Smith.)
Alabama 7, Ole Miss 5 (TOP 9): Alabama added an insurance run in the top of the ninth on a double to right field by Kelton that scored Jared Reaves.
Ole Miss had a chance to at least tie the game in the bottom of the ninth with two runners in scoring position and no outs, but after pinch-hitter Jordan King and catcher Miles Hamblin struck out, Newalu flew out to right field to end the game.
Goforth fell to 0-3 on the season after surrendering four runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks in 5.1 innings. He also struck out four.
Morgan earned the win for Alabama despite allowing five runs in 6.0 innings.
Jonathan Smart entered the game in the ninth with both runners on base and was able to register the final three outs of the game to pick up his second save of the season.
Today’s game was played in two hours and 45 minutes in front of an announced crowd of 9,405.
NEXT UP: Sunday’s game is set for a 1:30 p.m. start. Ole Miss will send left-hander Austin Wright (2-1, 2.66 ERA) to the mound, while Alabama will send sophomore right-hander Tucker Hawley (3-1, 2.16). (March 19, 2011)