Ryan Rolison (Photo credit: Austin Beecher/Nicholls Athletics)

Rebels Grab Four Early Runs, Ride Pitching to Series Win

Fayetteville, Ark ~ A first inning ambush of Arkansas starter Trevor Stephan helped Ole Miss top the Razorbacks 4-1, and take its first road series of the season in the front end of a weather-induced double header on Friday.

Stephan sweated out 40 pitches in the opening frame, and the Rebels blitzed him from the start. Tate Blackman ripped a base hit to center field, Will Golsan was hit by a pitch and Colby Bortles ripped a base hit to right to quickly put Ole Miss on the board three batters in. 

a Nick Fortes double down the left field line cleared the bases and brought two more across. A Cooper Johnson base hit brought the fourth and final run of the inning across and spotted reigning SEC Freshman of the Week Ryan Rolison a comfortable lead before he tossed a pitch.

Ole Miss was all over Stephan's fastball, and it equated to four early runs.

 A familiar script followed from there as Ole Miss rode coattails its pitching staff to a series clinching win. Rolison went  six innings, and surrendered a run on four hits. He struck out three and walked one. The freshman lefty's lone mistake came on an elevated fastball that Grant Koch deposited over the left field fence in the fifth inning.

Rolison stranded two runners in his sixth and final inning, and handed the ball to Will Ethridge, who bridged the gap the gap to closer Dallsas Woolfolk, who recorded a five-out save which was good for his ninth of the year. It was the second straight game that Ethridge helped salt away the win. He finished the game off on Thursday as well.

Stephan settled in for the Razorbacks after a disastrous first inning, and turned in five scoreless frames. He and Rolison lasted six, but Ole Miss' freshman lefty never let off the gas to allow Arkansas to get back into the game.

Ole Miss has played two error free games in Fayetteville and has stamped a signature road series win on its NCAA tournament resume. The team is 21-1 now when it scores at least four runs in a game, and the Rebels have plated 13 in two games on 19 hits. The pitching staff has allowed two runs on seven hits  in 18 innings to an Arkansas ball club that came into the series leading the SEC in home runs, and were second in runs scored. 

Five different Rebels have recorded multi-hit games. Bortles has three hits, two home runs and 5 RBIs in the series. Will Golsan has four hits in the two games, as does Tim Rowe. Mike Bianco said on Thursday night that he felt like his team had played one of its most complete games of the season, and this one would certainly rival that. 

Ole Miss is now 27-16 and 11-9 in the SEC. It will go for the sweep of Arkansas later this afternoon. There was no media availability between games, but stay tuned for quotes from both games after the series finale concludes. 

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