LONG BEACH, Calif. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) - The No. 8 Ole Miss baseball team couldn't find its stroke in the first two games against Long Beach State, but the Rebels sure found it in Game 3 Sunday afternoon to take a series win on the West Coast.
Ole Miss exploded for 12 runs on 14 hits, while the Rebel pitching staff allowed just one run on eight hits in a dominant 12-1 victory. The Rebels moved to 10-1 on the season.
James McArthur delivered a gem on the hill for Ole Miss, going five scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and striking out five to earn his first win of the season. Through three appearances, the junior out of New Braunfels, Texas, boasts a 0.59 ERA.
The Rebels got on the board first in the top of the second inning after a two-out walk by Cole Zabowski. The Rebel first baseman swiped second on a wild pitch, opening the door for an RBI single by Cooper Johnson.
The bats really came alive in the fifth, where the Rebels plated five runs. Johnson started things off with a leadoff walk, followed by a single for Tyler Keenan. Anthony Servideo dropped down a perfect sacrifice bunt to put runners in the scoring position for Grae Kessinger, who delivered an RBI single to left field--but the Rebels weren't done there.
After a pitching change, Ryan Olenek knocked one off the Dirtbag pitcher to send Keenan home. After back-to-back walks for Nick Fortes and Thomas Dillard, Will Golsan and Zabowski came through with back-to-back singles to add three more to the run column for Ole Miss.
The Rebels did more damage in the sixth as consecutive singles off the bats of Olenek and Fortes added two more runs to the tally.
With an eight run lead, head coach Mike Bianco went to his bullpen, calling on Greer Holston to relieve McArthur.
In the seventh, the Rebels just kept on scoring. Golsan got things going, reaching on a fielding error by the LBSU third baseman, and Chase Cockrell made the Dirtbags pay. Coming in to pinch hit for Zabowski, Cockrell crushed a home run deep over the left field wall to make it a double-digit lead for the Rebels.
Long Beach State plated one run on Holston in the seventh inning, but Max Cioffi came in to stop the rally, pitching a couple of ground balls--the first a double-play ball on a comebacker, and the second an excellent play on the run by Servideo.
Ole Miss will return to action Tuesday at Swayze Field. The Rebels will host Austin Peay at 6:30 p.m. CT.
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