By Ole Miss Media Relations
OXFORD – The Rebel pitching staff did its job on Tuesday, holding off the Red Wolves of Arkansas State (2-1) in a pitching duel and defensive battle that saw No. 17 Ole Miss (3-1) pick up the 3-2 win.
Junior southpaw Matt Tracy (1-0) picked up the win, while sophomore David Goforth claimed his first save of the season. Tracy worked 5.2 innings and held the Red Wolves to one run on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts. Goforth entered the game in the eighth with the Rebels holding a one run lead and limited Arkansas State to one hit and struck out two batters in his 1.1 innings of work on the mound.
Jacob Lee (0-1) suffered the loss for the Red Wolves as he gave up one run on one hit with a walk and two strikeouts in 2.0 innings of work.
“I thought Tim [Ferguson] played very well offensively today,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “The key to the game for us was our defense and pitching. Matt Tracy pitched terrifically – like he has in practice for the last couple of months. He had a good slider and a good change-up that kept them off balance. There were not many hard hit balls today on their end. It was good to have Mike Snyder back out there today. He was really excited to get back on the field.”
Ole Miss scored in the first inning, as Tim Ferguson was hit by a pitch to reach base to open the game. He then stole second and third before crossing home plate on a fielder’s choice to short from Matt Snyder.
The Rebels then added two more runs in the third inning to push out to a 3-0 lead. Zach Miller walked and moved to second on a fielding error at shortstop off a ground ball from Michael Snyder. Miller then scored on a single to left field from Taylor Hashman. Snyder then scored on a single through the right side from Taylor Hightower to give the Rebels the three run lead.
Arkansas State chipped away at the lead from there, scoring a run in the sixth inning to trim the lead to two. Cody Pace reached on a single and moved to second on a groundout to second from Todd Baumgartner. Pace then scored on a single to left field from Murray Watts.
The Red Wolves pulled to within one run in the seventh inning, using a solo shot to left field from Kyle DeGrace to push the score to 3-2.
Relievers Rory McKean and Goforth held the Red Wolves off from there, closing out the final two innings without allowing a run and only giving up two hits to preserve the win.
Ole Miss returns to action on Friday when the Rebels kick off a three game series against Oakland University. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.