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Thursday, August 21, 2014

No. 8 Rebs remain undefeated with 5-3 win

VIDEO BLOG: No. 8 Ole Miss will look to eclipse the 2011 team’s 6-0 start and sweep Rhode Island in the process today at Oxford-University Stadium.

Game 3 between the Rams (0-5 overall) and Ole Miss (5-0) is set for a 1:30 p.m. start. In place of expected Rebel starter Chris Ellis is sophomore right-hander Sam Smith. Following Saturday’s 1-0 victory, Ole Miss announced Ellis was still trying to come back from a preseason tweak, so Smith will make his second start in five days.

Against UT-Martin on Wednesday, Smith pitched three scoreless innings to pick up his first win of the young season. Against the Skyhawks, Smith struck out three and allowed two base runners.

HOW WE GOT HERE: Ole Miss pushed its undefeated streak to six games with an 8-1 win on Friday and a 1-0 win on Saturday. After scoring eight runs in the first three innings of the series, Ole Miss’ offense have struggled to push runs across the plate. Saturday, Ole Miss mustered just one run on five hits.

BEING AGGRESSIVE: Ole Miss has taken an aggressive approach at the plate and it has shown in the box score. After Rhode Isnland’s first two starters (Mike Bradstreet and Sean Furney) combined to walk nine Florida State Seminoles in 8.1 innings last weekend, the two Rams have walked just three in 15 innings against Ole Miss. Last season, outfielder Tanner Mathis led Ole Miss with 39 walks and boasted a .460 on-base percentage. Through six games, Mathis has yet to walk.

— — —AROUND THE LEAGUE— — —

Friday’s Results 
Ole Miss 8, Rhode Island 1
Florida Gulf Coast, Florida 2
Pepperdine 5, Texas A&M 3
Memphis 6, Missouri 0
Arkansas 10, Evansville 4
Kentucky 6, Elon 1
Alabama 5, Florida Atlantic 2
Vanderbilt 5, Monmouth 1
Mississippi State 3, Purdue 2
Arizona State 4, Tennessee 0
Middle Tennessee State at Auburn, PPD (2/23)
Albany at South Carolina, PPD (2/24)
Southeastern Louisiana at LSU, SUSPENDED (2/24)

Saturday’s Results
Ole Miss 1, Rhode Island 0
BYU 9, LSU 4
South Caorlina 8, Albany 3
Mississippi State 8, Samford 2
Tennessee 11, Arizona State 2
Georgia 2, Belmont 1 (10 inn.)
Middle Tennessee State 2, Auburn 1
Arkansas 5, Evansville 2
Coastal Carolina vs. Kentucky (PPD, 2/24)
Florida Gulf Coast 8, Florida 3
Texas A&M 3, Pepperdine 1
Belmont 11, Georgia 10
Memphis 5, Missouri 3
Vanderbilt 11, Monmouth 1
Mississippi State 7, Purdue 6
Alabama 4, Florida Atlantic 2
Auburn 5, College of Charleston 1

Sunday’s Games 
Rhode Island at Ole Miss, 1:30 p.m.
Samford at Mississippi State, 2:30 p.m.
Arizona State at Tennessee, noon
Alabama at Florida Atlantic, noon
Florida Gulf Coast at Florida, noon (FSFL)
Albany at South Carolina, 12:30 p.m.
Missouri at Memphis, 1 p.m.
Belmont at Georgia, 1 p.m.
Monmouth at Vanderbilt, 1 p.m.
Evansville at Arkansas, 1:05 p.m.
Pepperdine at Texas A&M, 1:05 p.m.
Indiana State at Auburn, 2 p.m.
Albany at South Carolina, PPD (2/24)
Southeastern Louisiana at LSU

— — — STARTING LINEUPS— — —

RHODE ISLAND RAMS (0-5 overall)
2B Joe Landi
3B Mike LeBel
CF Jeff Roy
1B Pat Fortunato
DH Pat Quinn
RF Kevin Stenhouse
LF Chris Famiglietti
C Shane O’Connell
SS Tim Caputo
RHP Liam O’Sullivan

No. 8 OLE MISS (6-0 overall)
LF Tanner Mathis
SS Austin Anderson
CF Auston Bousfield
C Stuart Turner
1B Will Allen
3B Andrew Mistone
RF Will Jamison
2B Preston Overbey
DH Holt Perdzock
RHP Sam Smith (1-0)

— — — SCORING SUMMARY — — —

OLE MISS 3, Rhode Island 0 (Bottom 1): Ole Miss jumped on Rhode Island’s starter for the second time in the series. After putting up a five-spot in the first inning Friday, Ole Miss scored three on Rams right-hander Liam O’Sullivan. Catcher Stuart Turner drove in shortstop Austin Anderson on a sacrifice fly to center field for the game’s first run. Will Allen then pushed Ole Miss’ lead to 3-0 on with a two-run homer into the Ole Miss bullpen beyond the left field wall. The home run was Ole Miss’ second of the season.

Ole Miss 3, RHODE ISLAND 1 (Top 2): Rhode Island got one of its runs back in the second. Catcher Shane O’Connell tallied the Rams’ third consecutive single and in doing so drove in the team’s first run of the game.

OLE MISS 4, Rhode Island 1 (Bottom 2): Anderson extended Ole Miss’ lead to 4-1 with an RBI-single to right field, scoring second baseman Preston Overbey.

OLE MISS 5, Rhode Island 1 (Bottom 3): Third baseman Andrew Mistone added to Ole Miss’ lead with a sacrifice fly to deep left field that scored Turner easily from third.

Ole Miss 5, RHODE ISLAND 2 (Top 4): Rhode Island tacked on another run in the fourth on an RBI-triple by left fielder Chris Famiglietti.

Ole Miss 5, RHODE ISLAND 3 (Top 7): The Rams made things interesting in the seventh, getting four base runners but were only able to muster one run on a single by O’Connell.

FINAL SCORE: No. 8 Ole Miss 5, Rhode Island 3.

HOW THE GAME WAS WON: Like Friday’s game, Ole Miss got off to a fast start, scoring all of its runs in the first inning. Unlike Friday, where the Rebels walked seven batters and allowed two more to reach base via an error and a HBP, Ole Miss played with few mistakes on Sunday to secure the sweep. Ole Miss’ 7-0 start is its best start since the 2008 squad won its first nine games. … Ole Miss reliever Aaron Greenwood earned the win to improve to 2-0. The junior allowed one run on three hits in three innings of relief work after Sam Smith allowed two runs in 3.1 innings. Sunday’s start was the second in five days for Smith. … Liam O’Sullivan fell to 0-1 on the year after allowing five runs (four earned) in two innings…. Anderson and Allen led Ole Miss with two hits. … Turner threw out two of three would-be base stealers; he has thrown out 7 of 8 on the season. … Brett Huber pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn his third save of the season and the 29th of his career.

ELLIS UPDATE: Sophomore right-hander Chris Ellis was supposed to make his usual start Sunday, but Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco opted for Smith. Following the game, Bianco said Ellis is still coming back from an abdominal injury that occurred during the preseason. Bianco said Ellis re-tweaked his injury at the end of last season’s start so as a precaution he has been limited to rest and rehab this week.

Below is what Bianco had to say on Ellis’ injury:

—”Chris has that ab thing and it bothered him at the end of last Sunday and as we went on with the week, we didn’t feel comfortable letting him run back out there.”

—”He’s getting better. That was one of the things, if you push him this weekend and it gets worse then where do you go from there. With two weekends left before conference play you don’t want to sit him down and then not get his pitch count ready. We thought this was the best time to sit him down and try to rest him.”

—”Rest and rehab. He tried a new brace around his midsection that will help him not engage his abs as much when he’s just doing normal (things). It’s kind of like your back where however you move you use your abs, so (we’re) trying to rest it and take some pressure off it.”

NEXT UP: No. 8 Ole Miss hosts Memphis Tuesday at 4 p.m. The Tigers are coming off of a three-game sweep of new SEC school Missouri.

PARTING VIEW: Below is a post-game interview with Allen, who was 2-for-4 on the day with a two-run home run. He also made his first start of the season at first base:

For more from the weekend’s sweep, pick up a print edition of Monday’s Oxford EAGLE. (February 24, 2013)

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