No. 5 Ole Miss responds to rough weekend with rout of No. 13 Southern Miss
Published 10:05 pm Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Ole Miss didn’t let its first series loss of the season linger into an important week.
The Rebels quickly built momentum and never relinquished it Tuesday as No. 5 Ole Miss eased past No. 13 Southern Miss 11-3 at Trustmark Park in Pearl. Ole Miss swept the season series from the Golden Eagles after taking the teams’ first meeting March 27 in Oxford and improved to 10-0 in the midweek.
Ole Miss will stay on the road this weekend with a trip to Nashville to take on No. 18 Vanderbilt starting Friday, the first of three straight series against ranked teams for the Rebels (28-6).
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Two days after finishing with 16 hits and producing 21 baserunners but squandering most of those chances in an extra-innings loss to Mississippi State, Ole Miss finished with 14 hits against six Southern Miss pitchers and went 10-for-20 with runners on and 5-for-12 with runners in scoring position. A six-run second inning highlighted by a three-run home run from Chase Cockrell set the tone for a rout that saw Ole Miss lead 7-0 before Southern Miss (22-10) scored its only runs in the fifth inning.
The bottom half of the lineup did most of the damage with Cockrell, Cole Zabowski, Thomas Dillard, Will Golsan and Tyler Keenan — Ole Miss’ No. 4-8 hitters — combining for 11 of those hits. Dillard drove in three runs while Keenan, fresh off his second straight SEC Freshman of the Week honor, went 3-for-5 with an RBI.
Ryan Olenek had a single in the second to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. Anthony Servideo, filling in for Grae Kessinger at shortstop, went 1-for-5 with an RBI.
After committing seven errors leading to six unearned runs in the series loss to the Bulldogs, Ole Miss played error-free defense behind right-hander Houston Roth (5-0), who blanked Southern Miss over the first four frames and ended up scattering five hits, walking four and striking out seven in five innings. Connor Green, Jordan Fowler and Austin Miller combined for four innings of one-hit relief.
Starter J.C. Keys (2-3) took the loss for Southern Miss after giving up six earned runs on five hits in just 1 2/3 innings.