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No. 9 Rebels fend off Tigers, improve to 4-0

Ole Miss hosts Tulane beginning Friday.

Posted: Feb 20, 2018 11:32 PM

OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) – Behind a strong performance at the plate Tuesday from Nick Fortes and Grae Kessinger, the No. 9 Ole Miss Rebels downed Memphis 8-6.

Fortes and Kessinger combined for seven of the team’s 13 hits, the former knocking in the team’s first six runs of the day on a pair of home runs that put the Rebels up by six in the third inning, while Kessinger etched a new career high in hits with four.


Houston Roth garnered his first career start as a Rebel, and his four innings of solid work gave the Rebels the momentum they needed to put some runs on the board. The sophomore went four complete while striking out six and gave up just two runs in his final inning of work before giving way to newcomer Austin Miller.

Miller, making his first appearance in a Rebel jersey, went two complete and recorded his first strikeout as a Rebel. Following Miller, Greer Holston and Will Stokes were called upon, each going an inning, but it took the arm of Dallas Woolfolk to close out the game. Woolfolk fended off a two-run ninth from the Tigers to earn his second save of the year.

The story for the Rebels Tuesday, however, was on offense. Following Kessinger’s leadoff single, Fortes got the day started early with a two-run home run over the left field wall to set the pace.

A similar path of events occurred in the third when Kessinger got the inning started with a double to right. Jacob Adams scored on a dropped third strike, setting the stage for Fortes to, once again, deliver in the clutch. Fortes returned with an eerily similar shot in the home bullpen, this one a three-run boost that put the Rebels up 6-0.

Memphis returned with two runs of its own in the fourth on a two-run home run, the only runs allowed by Roth, but again, the Rebels answered.

In the bottom half, the impact players once again emerged in Kessinger and Fortes. Tim Elko led the inning off with a single, followed by Kessinger’s third hit of the day and a Will Golsan walk to load the bases and set the scene for Fortes. Though it didn’t clear the fence, Fortes delivered with a deep ball to right, scoring one on a sacrifice fly.

The inning wasn’t over, however, as Thomas Dillard added the insurance with a double of his own to give the team their eighth and final run of the game. The Rebels held steady at eight for the rest of the game while they relied on their dependable bullpen to hold the lead.

Along the way, Kessinger added his fourth hit of the day to ensure that he held a new career high, and Elko added to his hit collection with his second on the day.

The Rebels improve to 4-0 on the year following the victory against Memphis and will remain in Oxford to take on the Tulane Green Wave over the weekend.

Quick Hits
- Junior College transfer Austin Miller made his Rebel debut Tuesday, going 2.0 innings of relief after taking over for Roth.
- Sophomore Houston Roth made his first ever start Tuesday after leading the team in ERA last year, striking out six in four innings of work, en route to earning his first win of the season.
- Grae Kessinger set a new career high in hits with four, with a double and three singles, and also scored three runs.
- Nick Fortes tied his career high of RBI with six, following his two home runs within the first three innings.
- Fortes’ two home runs were not the first time he has done so in a game. Less than a year ago, he did the same against UL-Monroe when he hit two in the same inning on May 2, 2017.
- Ole Miss improves to 94-54 all-time vs. the Tigers with its first win over Memphis since 2016.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314147

Reported Deaths: 7244
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21587258
Hinds20339415
Harrison17899309
Rankin13599278
Jackson13443246
Madison10092217
Lee9971174
Jones8373163
Forrest7677152
Lauderdale7187241
Lowndes6391146
Lamar622986
Lafayette6187118
Washington5332134
Bolivar4800132
Oktibbeha462598
Panola4581107
Pearl River4511146
Marshall4436103
Warren4387121
Pontotoc420172
Monroe4109133
Union410376
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3962110
Hancock379286
Leflore3495125
Sunflower335990
Tate333384
Pike3321105
Scott315773
Alcorn312868
Yazoo311469
Itawamba300177
Copiah296865
Coahoma295279
Simpson294988
Tippah288168
Adams284682
Prentiss279760
Marion269080
Leake267873
Wayne262641
Grenada261487
Covington259381
George248048
Newton246461
Winston227081
Tishomingo226767
Jasper221048
Attala214273
Chickasaw207757
Holmes188873
Clay185254
Stone182633
Tallahatchie178641
Clarke177980
Calhoun170632
Yalobusha164238
Smith162334
Walthall133945
Greene130533
Lawrence128524
Montgomery126842
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123042
Carroll121828
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107033
Tunica105326
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96633
Kemper95728
Franklin83623
Quitman80716
Choctaw76318
Wilkinson67231
Jefferson65628
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 531404

Reported Deaths: 10985
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765501522
Mobile41036805
Madison34789503
Tuscaloosa25788453
Montgomery24340589
Shelby23449249
Baldwin21154308
Lee15882171
Calhoun14511314
Morgan14306279
Etowah13843353
Marshall12232223
Houston10570281
Elmore10068205
Limestone9974151
Cullman9676194
St. Clair9661243
Lauderdale9427241
DeKalb8831186
Talladega8227176
Walker7241277
Autauga6926108
Jackson6814112
Blount6678137
Colbert6306134
Coffee5519119
Dale4838111
Russell441538
Chilton4296112
Franklin426082
Covington4129118
Tallapoosa4023152
Escambia393677
Chambers3573123
Dallas3551152
Clarke351161
Marion3122101
Pike310977
Lawrence300398
Winston274473
Bibb260964
Geneva250477
Marengo249564
Pickens234461
Barbour231057
Hale223077
Butler216069
Fayette212562
Henry188844
Cherokee185245
Randolph180542
Monroe177540
Washington167339
Macon159650
Clay156756
Crenshaw152557
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107628
Sumter104732
Greene92534
Choctaw60724
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