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Sixth-inning explosion helps Rebels sweep Tulane

With the sweep over Tulane, the Rebels got sweet revenge on the Green Wave, who eliminated Ole Miss from the Oxford regional in 2016.

Posted: Feb. 25, 2018 9:43 PM

OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletcis) - A monstrous sixth inning, as well as pair of home runs from Thomas Dillard and Cooper Johnson helped the No. 9 Ole Miss Rebels finalize the sweep over Tulane with a 6-3 victory. The win moved Ole Miss to 7-0 on the year, marking the second consecutive year the Rebels have started with seven straight wins, and the third in the past six years.

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James McArthur made his second consecutive Sunday start, going 5.1 innings and giving up just two runs, but the Green Wave held the 2-1 edge until the Rebels responded in the sixth with five runs of their own.

Dillard put the team's first run on the board early in the fourth with a no-doubter solo home run to right field to equalize the score at one. The score remained that way until the fifth, when a pair of singles resulted in the Green Wave's second run, prompting head coach Mike Bianco to relieve McArthur for Jordan Fowler.

McArthur tallied three strikeouts in 87 pitches, spreading six hits and two runs allowed over 5.1 innings, but Fowler picked up the win after just one inning of work for his second on the year despite having emerged from the bullpen both times.

Fowler owed some credit to the Rebel bats coming to life in the sixth inning. Grae Kessinger continued his early season tear by opening up the inning with a single before Nick Fortes reached on a fielder's choice and Dillard earned a free pass with a walk. With the bases loaded, team captain Will Golsan delivered with a huge two-RBI single to left field, giving the Rebels their first lead of the day.

The inning was far from over, however, as Johnson ensured that the Green Wave would not regain the lead with a three-run home run just over the left field wall. The Rebels did not score again, but the five-run sixth was all the team needed to turn it over to the bullpen and finalize the series sweep.

The Green Wave threatened with an eighth inning that saw them take back a run on a sacrifice fly and cut the Rebel lead to three, but the bullpen shut down the threat with an inning-ending strikeout.

Greer Holston and Will Stokes both made an appearance in setup roles, but it was Dallas Woolfolk, per usual, who slammed the door and picked up his fourth save of the year. It marked the 17th save of his career, moving him up to just one behind Scott Bittle for fourth on the school's all-time list.

With the sweep over Tulane, the Rebels got sweet revenge on the Green Wave, who eliminated Ole Miss from the Oxford regional in 2016. The three victories pushed the all-time series record in favor of the Rebels, who now move to 87-38-2 all-time vs. the Green Wave.

Sunday's game represented one of the last at Swayze Field before the Rebels jet off to their first road test of the year, a three-game series against a national seeded team from last year, Long Beach State.

Before that, however, Ole Miss will take on Murray State, Tuesday at 4 p.m. CT in its last of the eight-game homestand.

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