By Ole Miss Media Relations
NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Rebels used an all-around performance to pick up a win on Friday night, using gusty pitches, timely hitting and web gems on defense to propel No. 18 Ole Miss (8-1) to a 6-4 win over Tulane (5-4) at Turchin Stadium in the opening game of a weekend series.
Alex Yarbrough and Miles Hamblin came up with big hits for the Rebels to pace the Ole Miss offense. Yarbrough powered a two-RBI single to right field in the second inning to give the Rebels the early lead, while Hamblin hit a three-run shot to left field to pad the Ole Miss advantage in a game where every run was critical.
“It felt like a Friday night in the Southeastern Conference out there tonight,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We had two big pitchers going at it on the mound. Conrad Flynn pitched really well. We got the big home run from Miles Hamblin in the middle innings that was big for us, and we got a really gutsy performance out of Drew Pomeranz tonight.”
Drew Pomeranz (2-0) picked up the win as he worked 6.0 innings and allowed one run on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts. David Goforth claimed his second save of the season as he worked the ninth and held the Green Wave off the score board to close out the game.
Conrad Flynn (1-2) took the loss for Tulane as he gave up three runs on eight hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work.
Yarbrough got things started for the Rebels, hitting a two-out single to right field that drove in two runs as Zach Miller and Taylor Hightower scored on the play. Miller singled to center and took second on a walk of Hightower. Both players executed a double steal to get into scoring position for the Yarbrough hit that gave the Rebels a 2-0 lead.
Tulane mounted a rally in the bottom half of the frame, loading the bases with two outs for the top of the order with a single, double and a walk. The Rebels got out of the inning, however, when Matt Snyder fielded a grounder at first and dove for the bag, reaching the base before the runner for the out.
Ole Miss extended the lead with another run in the fourth as Yarbrough scored from second on a single through the right side from Tim Ferguson. Yarbrough doubled to reach base and then scored from second on the single from Ferguson.
Tulane got on the board in the sixth inning when Jeremy Schaffer homered to left field to open the frame for the Green Wave.
Hamblin hit his second home run of the season in the seventh, knocking a three-run shot over the fence in left field to give the Rebels a 6-1 lead. Taylor Hashman led off the inning as a pinch hitter for Tanner Mathis and reached on a bunt down the third base line. He took second when Matt Smith drew a walk and both runners advanced on a wild pitch.
The Green Wave rallied in the bottom half of the frame, pushing three runs across and cutting the lead to two at 6-4. Tulane used a walk a double and a walk to load the bases before a groundout to short pushed the first run across. Two more singles pushed a second run across and kept the bases loaded. Ole Miss got out of the inning on the next batter, but not before the third run crossed the plate as a sac fly to center scored a run, but Ferguson was able to throw the runner out at first from center field before he could get back to tag up safely.
The Rebel pitching staff would hold Tulane off from there and combine with solid defense to claim the win. Reliever Brett Huber retired the side in order to get the Rebels through the eighth inning. Goforth then picked up the save as Ole Miss used a double play and a groundout back to the mound to close out the ninth.
The two teams return to action on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the second game of the series at Turchin Stadium.