By Parrish Alford
OXFORD – The long-ball theme continued for Ole Miss, and this time the Rebels didn’t have to contend with comeback drama.
Sikes Orvis homered twice, Will Allen once, and the No. 20-ranked Rebels jumped on Missouri early and cruised to a 7-1 win before 8,149 at Swayze Field on Saturday afternoon.
The win secures the Rebels’ first SEC series victory of the season. Game 3 is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today.
The Rebels (20-4, 3-2 SEC) have hit five home runs this weekend.
“We’ve swung it well. We’ve got some older, physical guys who have had success,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “When you look at college sports in general, those older guys seem to take it to another level.”
Ole Miss didn’t pound six Missouri pitchers, but the Rebels were efficient with their eight hits.
It was the second two-homer day by an Ole Miss player this season. Preston Overbey had two against Stetson on Feb. 16.
Freshman shortstop Errol Robinson singled and doubled, the only Rebels player other than Orvis with two hits.
Orvis felt reasonably confident the yard was not going to hold either of his home run swings. He was encouraged by home plate umpire Danny Everett to take off for first base a little sooner the second time.
“I got yelled at a little bit by the umpire after the first one because I stood there too long,” Orvis said. “He said, ‘I know you got it good. Just don’t stand there and watch it.’ As soon as I hit the second one I got going.”
Allen’s three-run shot in the first scored Austin Anderson and Braxton Lee, and the Rebels were three runs up in the first inning for the second straight day.
Orvis’ first home run scored two runs, part of a three-run third inning that also included a sacrifice fly by Austin Anderson.
Orvis added a solo home run in the seventh, his third of the weekend and sixth of the year.
Ole Miss lefty starter Christian Trent went out for the seventh inning but after baserunners reached on a Robinson error and a walk, Aaron Greenwood retired three betters in succession to keep the Tigers (11-11, 1-4) off the board.
Trent scattered four hits and walked two. The Tigers loaded the bases on two hits and a walk with no outs in the second but could manage just one run.
Greenwood retired nine of the 11 batters he faced, allowing only a walk and a hit batsman over three innings.