By Ole Miss Media Relations
OXFORD – Matt Tracy pitched 6.0 scoreless innings in his first start of the 2011 season to help push the Rebels to a fourth straight win as Ole Miss (4-0) defeated Memphis (3-1) by a score of 4-2 on Tuesday.
Tracy (1-0) struck out seven and held the Tigers to four hits in his 6.0 innings of work, picking up the win for the Rebels. He walked only two in the game and pitched well in the clutch, getting himself out of a couple of jams in the outing. Jake Morgan picked up his first save of the year, closing out the final 1.2 innings with one hit and two strikeouts.
Dane Sharp (0-1) suffered the loss for the Tigers as he allowed one run on four hits in 5.0 innings of work. He walked three and struck out three on the afternoon.
Matt Snyder helped pace the Rebel offense with a 2-for-2 night and two walks, including a run scored and an RBI. Zach Kirksey also came up with a powerful shot to right field to record his first home run of the season.
“It was good to see Matt Tracy have a good outing on the mound,” Bianco said. “ He’s a senior and you see why it is important to have older guys on the team. He wasn’t sharp the first few innings but he hung in there, had a good fastball, and was able to battle out of some innings.
“Zach Kirksey made the play in the outfield that was the turning point of the game,” Bianco said. “He got the same ball he got this past Friday and today he was able to throw him out at the plate. I think you saw how that made him feel, when he redeemed himself from this weekend, because he hit a home run later in the game. It gave our dugout momentum which was important in putting things together today.”
Ole Miss got on the board in the first inning, plating a run when Alex Yarbrough scored on a single from Matt Snyder to give the Rebels the 1-0 lead.
The Rebels added a pair of runs in the fifth when double from Snyder got things started for Ole Miss. Snyder scored on a single from Miles Hamblin as the Rebel catcher moved to second on the throw home. Hamblin then scored a batter later when Jordan King doubled to right field to put Ole Miss up 3-0.
Ole Miss got its fourth run when Kirksey hit his solo shot into the student section in right field in the sixth inning.
Memphis struck back in the eighth, opening up the inning with back-to-back singles to put two men on. Following a fly out to right. Morgan entered the game to relieve freshman right-hander Mike Mayers and gave up a double that drove in both base runners before the right-handed reliever struck out the next two batters to get the Rebels out of the inning.
The senior reliever then retired the side in order in the ninth to notch the save and give the Rebels the fourth win of the season.
Ole Miss will return to action at 3 p.m. on Wednesday when the Rebels welcome Arkansas State to O-U Stadium/Swayze Field.