By Zackary Al-Khateeb/Special to the Journal
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Behind a strong showing at the plate, the No. 17 Ole Miss Rebels won the first game of a three-game series with the Alabama Crimson Tide on Friday night, 11-7.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Rebels (16-6, 2-2 SEC).
Ole Miss earned 11 runs off 16 hits during the game, but also registered. Starting pitcher Bobby Wahl gave up four earned runs off seven hits through 51/3 innings. Dylan Chavez (2-0) earned the win, giving up three hits and a run in 12/3 innings, while the defense registered three errors.
The second game of the series will take place today at 2:05 p.m. Ole Miss sophomore righthander R.J. Hively (3-1, 1.88) will be opposed by Alabama freshman lefty Justin Kamplain (1-1, 2.53)
Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said his team can’t take the rest of the weekend for granted, despite his team’s performance in the opener
“I think it’s going to be a tough weekend,” Bianco said. “This is the SEC. … Every game’s a dog fight. ”
Tanner Mathis and Will Allen led Ole Miss with three hits apiece. Alex Yarbrough got two hits and earned three RBIs on the night.
Alabama (8-14, 0-4) took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, but the Rebels tied the game with two runs in the second inning off runs from Allen and Zach Kirksey.
Ole Miss widened its lead by one in the third when Yarbrough earned his first RBI, bringing in Mathis.
After two scoreless innings, Ole Miss widened its lead again in the sixth, as Andrew Mistone brought in Kirksey off a triple. Alabama responded, however, scoring two runs in the sixth to once again tie the game, 4-4.
Ole Miss put the game away with seven runs in the seventh inning. After a fly-out from Auston Bousfield, Mathis singles and Anderson doubled.
Yarbrough single to right field to score a pair of runs. Matt Snyder got a quick single, followed by an RBI off a double from Allen. Kirksey was then intentionally walked, and Mistone earned a two-RBI single. Bousfield rounded out the scoring on the inning with a two-RBI single to put Ole Miss up, 11-4.
Alabama tried to mount a comeback, scoring one run in the seventh inning and two in the eighth for the final margin.