The 4-2 Victory Gave the Rebels Their Third-Straight Winning Series Against a Top-2 Team
OXFORD, Miss. – On a picture-perfect Sunday afternoon at Swayze Field, the No. 21 Ole Miss baseball team claimed the weekend series over No. 2 Louisville with a 4-2 victory in the rubber match. The Rebels (6-1) used a three-run rally, courtesy of four straight hits and a sacrifice fly, in the bottom of the third inning to take the lead and keep it for the remainder of the contest.
The win over the Cardinals (5-2) marks the third straight time Ole Miss has emerged with a series over a top-two team. Last season, the Rebels completed series wins over both No. 1 Vanderbilt and No. 1 Florida.
“Obviously, this was a big weekend against a really good team – we got challenged in a lot of areas this week,” said head coach Mike Bianco. “It was nice to play well here and finish off the weekend on a positive note.”
Redshirt-junior Sean Johnson (2-0) picked up his second straight win on the mound, going 5.1 innings and giving up two runs on five hits and a pair of walks. Sophomore David Parkinson added 1.2 scoreless innings of relief after Johnson’s day was completed, and closer Wyatt Short (3) tallied his third save already this season. Short’s career saves total has now reached 16, which puts him tied for fifth in Ole Miss Baseball history alongside Jake Morgan.
At the plate, the Rebels went 3-for-4 with runners in scoring position and had a total of eight hits throughout the game. Sophomore Will Golsan hit his first career home run with a solo shot to left field and ended the day with two RBI. Classmate Tate Blackman increased his hitting streak to seven games, and Cameron Dishon put together a multi-hit game at the bottom of the lineup. Ole Miss scored all four runs off Louisville starting pitcher Drew Harrington (1-1).
Corey Ray, Nick Solak and Blake Tiberi recorded two hits apiece for the Cardinals. Ray wasted no time giving his team the lead with a solo homer to left on the first at-bat of the game. Louisville added another run in the first, and the Rebels quickly found themselves in a 2-0 hole.
Louisville held its lead until the Rebel bats broke out in the bottom of the third. After the first six hitters went down in order, the bottom of the Ole Miss lineup provided the spark with three straight hits to cut the lead in half. Freshman Ryan Olenek and senior Connor Cloyd singled before Dishon’s base hit put the Rebs on the scoreboard. Flipping to the top of the order, Errol Robinson knocked in another run to tie the game. Keeping the momentum going, Golsan gave Ole Miss a 3-2 lead with a sacrifice fly to left.
Johnson tossed 5.1 innings before Parkinson took over the mound in the top of the sixth. Parkinson allowed only two hits and struck out two during his outing.
In the bottom of the sixth, Golsan provided the Rebels with some cushion thanks to a solo blast to left field. The homer doubled the Ole Miss advantage, bringing the crowd of 9,010 to its feet as Swayze Showers rained down from right field.
With one out in the eighth, Solak singled as Louisville attempted a comeback. As the tying run stepped to the plate, Short entered the game to hold the Cardinals’ bats in-check. The junior southpaw did just that, getting out of the jam. After allowing a leadoff hit, Short forced a flyout and a 6-4-3 double play to end the game and complete the five-out save. The Rebels poured onto the field after the game’s final play as Ole Miss celebrated another series victory over one of the top teams in the country.
- Third straight series win over a top-2 team for the Rebels. Ole Miss beat No.1 Vanderbilt and No. 1 Florida in 2015.
- Tate Blackman increased his hitting streak to seven games. Through the first two weeks of the season, the sophomore leads the Rebels with a .524 batting average.
- Will Golsan’s solo blast in the sixth was his first career home run.
- Wyatt Short earned his third save of the season and brought his career saves total to 16, tied for fifth on the Ole Miss all-time list.