Winning Performance

Freshman right-hander Josh Laxer turned in a career night and the Rebel offense took advantage of limited opportunities as No. 24 Ole Miss (29-16) shut out Southern Miss (25-19) by a score of 3-0 on Tuesday night at Trustmark Park.


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Laxer (4-0) worked a career-long 7.0 innings and handcuffed the Golden Eagle batters for most of that time, allowing four hits with a walk and five strikeouts. R.J. Hively picked up his second save of the season, working the final inning with two strikeouts and retired the side in order.

Dillon Day (0-1) suffered the loss for Southern Miss in his first pitching appearance of the season, allowing three runs – two earned – on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts in 5.0 innings of work.

"We played well tonight," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. "Josh (Laxer) was tremendous. We played great defense. We normally play well defensively, but tonight we had a couple of web gems and in this type of game, those plays can be game changers.

"I'm proud of Josh," Bianco said. "I thought he was special tonight. We haven't seen that type of performance out of him yet this season, and it was good to see that tonight."

Laxer said he knew he was on from the start.

"It definitely helped to find my pitches in the bullpen," he said. "When you're starting you can find the pitches in the bullpen. That's what was helping me tonight."


Josh Laxer
AP
Ole Miss struck first, pushing two runs home in the second inning to get off to the quick start. matt snyder doubled down the right field line to start things off before taking third on a wild pitch. He then scored on a single up the middle from Will Allen for the first run. A throwing error on a pickoff move allowed Allen to move from first to third before an infield single from John Gatlin brought Allen home and gave Ole Miss the two-run lead.

The Rebels built on the lead in the fourth inning when Auston Bousfield delivered a sac fly to left field that scored Allen from third. Allen reached on a single through the left side before taking second on a wild pitch. The sophomore catcher then stole third to set up the score on the Bousfield fly out to make it 3-0.

Allen and Gatlin led the Rebel offense of the night with each player going 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI. Allen also scored two of Ole Miss' three runs on the night.

Allen said Laxer was at his best on this night.

"He did unbelievable," Allen said. "We all knew he had that ability and the stuff. Tonight everything was there, throwing strikes, getting ahead of guys. He showed everybody what he could do tonight."

The Rebels will return to action on Wednesday night, hosting Murray State at 6:30 p.m. at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field before hosting the No. 4 LSU Tigers this weekend in a three-game series.


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