OXFORD – The Rebel offense put together three straight scoring innings to open the game and used five innings of no-hit ball from Nathan Baker before holding on down the stretch as No. 14 Ole Miss (23-8) defeated New Orleans (13-17) by a score of 5-4 on Tuesday.
The win is the seventh-straight for the Rebels who are coming off a weekend sweep of Kentucky in Southeastern Conference play.
Nathan Baker (2-0) picked up the win as he worked 5.2 innings and allowed three runs on five hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Baker held the Privateers hitless through the first five frames before giving up the runs in the sixth. Jake Morgan picked up his third save as he closed out the ninth for the Rebels, allowing one run on two hits with a strikeout.
Jake Henderson (3-3) suffered the loss for New Orleans as he allowed five runs – three earned – on six hits with a walk and a strikeout in 4.0 innings of work.
“It’s always nice to win, but we didn’t play very well,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We challenged the kids to come off a good weekend and play well on a chilly night. It looked like we were going to respond to that, but then we looked content and seemed to shut it down. That’s disappointing for the last five or six innings. You have to credit New Orleans for staying in the game, but we have to play better than this.”
Ole Miss scored two runs in the first as the Rebels sent seven batters to the plate. Michael Hubbard reached on a single before moving to third on a single from Matt Snyder. Hubbard then scored on a single from Zach Miller that moved Snyder to third. Snyder scored a batter later when Matt Smith singled to left center and the Rebels had a 2-0 lead.
The Rebels added a third run in the second inning when Kevin Mort scored on a sac fly from Jordan Henry. Mort doubled to open the inning and then took third on a sac bunt from Brett Basham. He scored a batter later on the Henry fly out to give Ole Miss the 3-0 lead.
Ole Miss added two more runs in the third as the Rebels capitalized on three fielding errors by the Privateers to score without notching a hit. Logan Power walked before a fielding error at second let Power move to third and Snyder to reach base safely. Miller came up with a fielder’s choice to drive Power home as Snyder was thrown out at second, but then a pair of errors on the shortstop and the left fielder on a ball hit by Matt Smith allowed Miller to score from first and give the Rebels the 5-0 lead.
New Orleans then answered with a three-run sixth inning as the Privateers used four-straight hits with two outs on the board following a Rebel double play to push three runs across the board and cut the lead to 5-3.
The Privateers then cut the lead to one with a single run in the eighth as Jay Morris led off with a single and took second on a passed ball. A groundout to first moved Morris to third base before another groundout to first from Tyrone Wethers pushed Morris across the plate and cut the lead to 5-4.
Two batters later, Morgan struck out Tyler Sanford to seal the win for the Rebels.
Ole Miss and New Orleans will face-off again on Wednesday with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m. at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
Ole Miss Media Relations