No. 5 Ole Miss finishes midweek slate with 40th win

Published 10:34 pm Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Never has Ole Miss racked up 40 wins this quickly.

The fifth-ranked Rebels kept their late-season momentum going Tuesday with a 15-8 win over Arkansas State at Tomlinson Stadium. Ole Miss’ fifth straight win gave the Rebels a 13-1 finish in midweek games — tied for the best midweek record in a season — and their 40th win in 53 games, the fewest amount the Rebels have ever needed to reach the mark.

The 40 wins tie the school record for victories in the regular season. Ole Miss (40-13) will go for a new one when the Rebels travel to Alabama on Thursday to begin the last series of the regular season before next week’s SEC Tournament in Hoover.

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Ole Miss’ offense overwhelmed Zachary Patterson (0-4) and three other Arkansas State (18-30) pitchers, pounding out a season-high 17 hits and scoring in all but two innings on the way to producing its second-highest run total of the season. Tyler Keenan, the reigning SEC Player of the Week, homered for the third straight game while the Rebels also got home runs from Thomas Dillard, Grae Kessinger and Michael Fitzimmons.

Keenan finished 2-for-4 with four RBIs and scored three times. Kessinger went 3-for-4 with three RBIs while Nick Fortes also had three hits, including a double. Cole Zabowski, Dillard and Fitzsimmons each drove in two runs for the Rebels, who had a 10-2 lead after putting up a three-spot in the sixth.

Freshman Jordan Fowler (6-0) allowed one earned run on four hits in five innings to get the win. The left-hander struck out four and walked one, ending his outing with three straight scoreless frames.

Austin Miller and Connor Green combined to allow six earned runs on four hits in two innings of relief, including home runs from Jacob Jablonski and Kyle MacDonald. Max Cioffi struck out two in a scoreless eighth while Will Stokes fanned three of the four batters he faced in the ninth.