OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) - Ole Miss on Saturday combined for a pair of victories over Tulane, earning the series clinch and improving to 6-0 on the year. Ryan Rolison managed to hold the Green Wave to just a run on Friday before the delay, and Brady Feigl stifled opposing hitters behind a strong performance from his offense as both managed to earn the win in their second start of the season.
Ole Miss 5, Tulane 4 Recap
Game one began Friday afternoon and featured a back-and-forth affair. Rolison got off to a great start before securing the 5-4 victory. The sophomore gave up an early solo home run, his first run allowed of the year, but was flawless after. Rolison went 5.0 complete innings of work, striking out nine and allowing just three hits and two walks.
At the plate, the Rebels mustered a pair of runs before rain cut the day short. The Rebels led off the first by a Ryan Olenek hit-by-pitch, Nick Fortes continued his hot streak with a single to put two on board early, and a high throw from the catcher on a Fortes steal to second allowed Olenek to score. Thomas Dillard booted in Fortes on an RBI groundout, giving the game's score that stood until play resumed Saturday at noon.
Will Ethridge took over for Rolison on Saturday, inheriting a one-run lead in the sixth. Ethridge went two complete innings, recording one strikeout and allowing three runs. Entering a jam in the eighth, the Rebels turned to Will Stokes, who went one full inning without allowing a run.
The relievers got the offensive firepower they were looking for, as well as a couple runs for cushion, in the seventh, when both Cole Zabowski and Cooper Johnson hit a pair of home runs. The long balls, the first of Johnson's career and the second of Zabowski's season, put the Rebels up 5-1 before Tulane stormed back in the eighth with three of their own.
With the teams separated by just one run, Bianco turned to Dallas Woolfolk in the ninth, and the Rebel closer delivered. Woolfolk faced just three batters, sitting them all down, and the Rebels earned the game one victory by a score of 5-4.
Ole Miss 9, Tulane 1 Recap
Game two, which began just 45 minutes after Woolfolk's save, showcased the offensive firepower of the Rebels while Feigl ensured that the opposing offense would be no problem. Eight Rebels recorded a hit in the second game, to combine for ten overall, while Feigl went six complete without a run allowed after the first.
Feigl started off the game hot, striking out three batters in the first, but one of those strikeouts ultimately resulted in a Green Wave run. A dropped third strike allowed a Tulane runner to reach before he was booted in on an RBI single. The run would be Tulane's only of the game.
The Rebels answered immediately and never looked back. Grae Kessinger, batting in the leadoff position, hit a home run of his own over the left field bullpen, knotting the game at one and relieving Feigl of his one run allowed.
Feigl would go five more on the bump, striking out six while allowing just two hits and managing to keep the Green Wave scoreless after the first.
In the fourth, the Rebels finally managed the edge they were looking for after Nick Fortes led off the inning with a double. The Rebel catcher would hop around the base paths on a tag to third, before ultimately reaching home on a Will Golsan sacrifice fly.
One inning later, Ole Miss would add two more to the scoreboard to make it a 4-1 game after a pair of doubles and a sacrifice fly. Chase Cockrell led off the inning with a standup double to left, while Grae Kessinger knocked him in just two batters later with a double of his own off the left-center wall. Ryan Olenek would ultimately provide the last run of the inning on a sacrifice fly.
The real offensive work, however, came in the sixth inning. The five-run inning would see the Rebels knock four separate Green Wave pitchers on the mound on five hits. The team loaded the bases early following a Thomas Dillard and Tim Elko single, and a Golsan double. Two would come home on consecutive wild pitches, before Cockrell plated another with an RBI single through the six hole.
Resulting in just the first out of the inning, another would come in on a sacrifice fly, while Olenek would provide the final run of the inning and the game on a double to shallow right.
Contributing to the long inning, Feigl would not reappear, but would leave the door open for Parker Caracci and Max Cioffi to shut down the Green Wave and ensure the win. Caracci managed two solid innings of setup relief, striking out four and not allowing a baserunner, while Cioffi, in his first appearance in a Rebel jersey, closed down the game with a solid performance in the ninth, where he didn't allow a runner.
The Rebels improve to 6-0 on the year with the pair of victories, and will go for the sweep Sunday with a first pitch against Tulane set for 1:30 with James McArthur on the bump. Following Sunday's action, the Rebels host Murray State next Tuesday, before jetting off for the first time all year, a weekend series against Long Beach State.