Ole Miss tops Arkansas-Little Rock 12-6

Published 10:37 am Wednesday, February 28, 2024

By Jeff Roberson

Ole Miss continued its winning ways Tuesday afternoon, defeating Arkansas-Little Rock 12-6 at Oxford-University Stadium Swayze Field.

With its third victory in a row, Ole Miss is now 5-4 on the season and hosts Missouri State at 4 p.m. today.

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With a strong wind blowing out, each team had four home runs in the contest. Ethan Groff and Jackson Ross led the way for Ole Miss with three hits each. Homering for the Rebels in this one were Ross, Will Furniss, Andrew Fischer and team captain Reagan Burford.

Rebel left-hander Wes Mendes got out of a tough situation in the top of the first inning with one out and the bases loaded. He then got two Trojan batters to strike out to end the threat.

Ole Miss tacked on three runs in the bottom of the first. With Fischer and Ross aboard and two outs, Furniss launched one out of Swayze Field over the left field fence for a 3-0 Rebel lead after just one inning.

UALR, now 3-5 on the season, cut the UM lead to 3-2 with runs in the top of the second and top of the third as the Rebels were not able to get any runs home in their half of those frames.

Right-hander Mason Morris relieved Mendes (2 earned runs, 2 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts) to start the fourth. After the Trojans weren’t able to push a run across, the Rebels added three in the bottom of the fourth. Eli Berch and Ethan Groff led off with singles. With Berch on third, Groff stole second, followed by an Andrew Fischer walk.

Ethan Lege flew out to left to score Berch. Ross doubled to score Groff and Fischer. It was 6-2 Ole Miss after four innings.

After the Trojans added two runs in the top of the fifth, Ole Miss extended its lead with three runs in bottom of the sixth. Lege walked, moved to second on a balk, and to third on a wild pitch. Ross followed that with a walk.

With one out, Luke Hill was intentionally walked. Treyson Hughes then flew out to center to score Lege. Burford doubled to score Hill and Ross, and Ole Miss led 9-4.

After Morris (3 runs, 2 earned, 3 hits, 2 strikeouts, 2 walks) walked the leadoff batter in the top of the seventh, right-hander Brayden Jones entered and was able to get out of the inning with only one run scored.

In the bottom of the seventh, Ole Miss got the run back on a two-out homer from Ross, his fifth round-tripper in the last four games. The score stood 10-5 Rebels heading to the eighth.

Skyler Trevino of UALR sent a home run into the visiting bullpen in left to lead off the eighth.

After Noah Brewer was hit by a pitch from Jones (1 earned run, 1 hit, 1 strikeout, 1 walk), Mitch Murrell entered to pitch. The senior right-hander limited any further damage, and the Rebs led 10-6 moving to the bottom of the eighth.

Burford led off the Rebels’ portion of the eighth with a home run deep over the wall in left center for an 11-6 UM lead. With two outs, Fischer followed suit but in the opposite direction, sending one into the Rebels’ bullpen in deep right to make it 12-6.

In the top of the ninth, Murrell made quick work of three Trojan batters. The mound veteran pitched two innings with two strikeouts and no hits or walks.

Morris (1-1) got the win for the Rebels, his first collegiate win. UALR starter Jack Cline (0-1) got the loss.