Rebs beat Aces 6-4 in series opener

Will Kline said he watched the weather channel earlier Friday and was a little disappointed the temperatures were going to be in the 30s today when he pitched at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.

"But once you get out there and start pitching, things are better and you forget about it a little bit," said the fourth-year junior right-hander from Tupelo, who picked up his second win of the young season as the 13th-ranked Ole Miss Rebels beat 21st-ranked Evansville 6-4.

Kline had a rocky start in the first but got out of it. He walked the first Purple Ace batter and the second one reached on a fielder's choice as both runners were safe. Evansville tried a double steal, but the lead runner was out at third.

Then Kline became Kline again and got two strikeouts to end the early threat.

"He pitched OK," said Bianco of Kline, who went six innings allowing two earned runs on six hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. "He wasn't his sharpest but he understands how to pitch and when to make a push to get things back. He knows how to handle things in situations like this one. But we need to take some pressure off earlier, and the way you do that is to make pitches earlier in the innings."

After the Rebels got no runs in the bottom of the first, the Aces got a run in the second as nine-hole batter, third baseman Ryan Barrett, singled up the middle on a 3-2 count to score shortstop Robbie Minor who had reached on a single and moved to second on a single by left fielder Jeremy Kuester. All the Evansville action in the second came with two outs.

The Rebels got a run in the third to tie the game 1-1 as Fuller Smith's RBI ground out scored Justin Henry from third after the Rebel captain reached on an Ace error, stole second, and moved to third on a Zack Cozart bunt.

The Rebels added a couple of runs in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead on a Brett Basham RBI single, scoring Cody Overbeck who reached on a base hit, and a Justin Henry fielder's choice, which scored Logan Power, who had also reached on a base hit.

Evansville added a run in the top of the fifth, but Ole Miss added two more in the bottom of the fifth to lead 5-2 on a two-out two RBI double by Power to the center field wall, scoring Fuller Smith and Andrew Clark who had reached on a single and a walk respectively.

"Big two-out hit by Logan that allowed us to win the game," Bianco said. "We needed that at that time, and he came through."

Craig Rodriguez relieved Kline to start the seventh and allowed two earned runs on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts the rest of the way. Ole Miss added a run in the bottom of the eighth as Jordan Henry reached on a fielder's choice which scored Overbeck who had reached on a leadoff double.

The Rebel third baseman, 2-for-4 on the day, was hitless in two games last weekend against UNO.

"I actually felt fine last weekend, too, but the ball just wasn't dropping," Overbeck said. "But I worked with (assistant) Coach (Rob) Reinstetle this week and he helped me. It paid off today."

Power led the Rebels at the plate, going 3-for-4 with 2 RBI. The Purple Aces actually outhit Ole Miss 10-9 on the day.

The Rebels, 3-0 on the season, will start sophomore righty Lance Lynn (1-0, 0.00) Saturday at 1:30 p.m., while Evansville, now 2-2, will send senior lefty Kai Tuomi (1-0, 2.25) to face the Rebs.

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