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No. 5 Ole Miss two-hits Alabama, takes series opener

At this point, winning is all that matters for Ole Miss. Ryan Rolison and the Rebels’ bullpen made sure they survived a scare from the SEC’s last-place team Thursday.

Ole Miss’ arms silenced Alabama’s bats, and the fifth-ranked Rebels kept pace in the SEC’s Western Division with a 3-2 win in the teams’ series opener at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Will Golsan broke a tie game with an RBI single in the sixth, and Ole Miss held on from there for its 41st win, a regular-season record.

Ole Miss (41-13, 17-11 SEC) remained a game back of No. 6 Arkansas atop the Western Division standings with two games left after the Razorbacks beat No. 16 Georgia 8-6 in their series opener. The Rebels can clinch a top 4 seed and a first-round bye in next week’s SEC Tournament with a win Friday (6 p.m., SEC Network+).

Alabama (26-28, 7-21) got a solo home run from Chandler Taylor in the second, but Rolison combined with Will Ethridge and Parker Caracci to limit the Crimson Tide to just one other hit. Ethridge and Caracci, who retired each batter he faced over the final two innings for the six-out save, threw three innings of hitless relief after a second straight quality start from Rolison (8-4), who allowed two runs on the two hits in six innings while working around five walks and striking out eight.

Sam Finnerty (4-4) took the loss for Alabama after giving up all three runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Alabama answered Cole Zabowski’s solo home run in the fourth with the tying run in the home half of the frame on an error before Ole Miss took the lead for good in the sixth on Golsan’s two-out single scoring Thomas Dillard, who doubled earlier in the frame. Golsan, Dillard and Tyler Keenan each finished with two hits while Chase Cockrell had an RBI single.