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Sometimes midweek non-conference games are close. That's baseball. Not the one here Tuesday night.


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Tennessee-Martin was overmatched from start to finish as 14th-ranked Ole Miss beat the Skyhawks 20-4.

"Obviously a really good night for us offensively," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco after his team moved to 10-2 on the season. "Several guys had good nights."

Ole Miss got 15 hits and eight UT-Martin pitchers walked 10 Rebel batters. Another four were hit by a pitch to reach base, and the Skyhawks committed five errors.

The Rebels had some superlatives from some individuals at the plate.

"Zach (Kirksey) was tremendous and continues to swing a very hot bat," Bianco said. "Matt Snyder hits a mammoth home run in the first. (Alex) Yarbrough had three hits. (Austin) Anderson had three hits. Just a lot of good at-bats tonight."

It was Snyder's only hit, the three-run bomb in the first inning that gave Ole Miss an early 3-0 lead. The only inning the Rebels didn't score in was the fourth. In the eighth, the Rebels scored nine runs as UT-Martin went through three of its eight pitchers.

Yarbrough was 3-for-4 with two RBI, while Anderson was 3-for-5 with three RBI.

It was Kirksey, however, that made the most noise, 2-for-4 at the plate with seven RBI on two home runs.

One interesting note from this one. Senquez Golson went 0-for-7 but scored four times.

Sam Smith started the game but Josh Laxer, who relieved him, got the win and is now 2-0. Smith went 3.2 innings and allowed two runs on four hits with six strikeouts and two walks.

"Not as sharp tonight," Bianco said of the freshman right-hander Smith, who was making his third start of the season. "He had a couple of walks. He just didn't look comfortable out there tonight. His velocity was a little down with his fast ball and his slider, and his command wasn't there. But he hung in there."


Sam Smith
Bruce Newman

On the flip side, Bianco said Laxer was as good as ever. The freshman righty went 2.1 innings with one run on two hits.

"I thought it might have been his best outing of the year," Bianco said of Laxer.

Tanner Bailey, Aaron Greenwood, and Chris Ellis pitched an inning each.

Diamond Notes:

*** Senior shortstop Blake Newalu has improved but is still battling a stomach virus.

"He's better and could have played tonight. He didn't practice (Monday), but he'll play on Friday," Bianco said.

*** Sophomore catcher Will Allen continues to recover from a fractured little finger on his throwing hand suffered last Friday.

"He's going to hit off a tee tomorrow," Bianco said. "We'll see how the pain is. He caught in the bullpen the last two days and he's able to throw back to the pitcher with his fingers taped up. I don't know if he could throw it to second yet. He can throw it back to the pitcher without any pain. And he can swing, not hitting the ball but just swing, without any pain. It's getting better."

*** Sophomore 3B/1B Preston Overbey continues to practice at catcher, given the lack of depth there. He actually caught the ninth inning tonight and was in the bullpen after the game getting some work in.

"He's been working with Coach (Cliff) Godwin, trying to get a little depth back there," Bianco said. "He's done terrific. We decided around the seventh inning we would put him in in the ninth. Another guy who will be able to help us."

*** The Rebels continue to have some trouble in the outfield with fly balls. They've been dropping some lately, and Bianco said that has to stop.

"We're trying to figure it out. We've got to catch some balls out there," he said. "It's not clean enough. Not sure if it's a lack of concentration or what. But it's disappointing in the outfield. We've had like three (drops) in the last week and a half. And that's ridiculous. And we're throwing balls to wrong bases, and we've got to clean that up."


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