Rebels best Bruins in 4-2 victory

Another dominant pitching performance and a couple clutch swings from a shuffled line-up removed Ole Miss' losing skid with a 4-2 win over Belmont on Tuesday.

Four Rebel pitchers scattered 12 runners and four Ole Miss batters connected for multiple hits during the afternoon tilt. The victory may not have been an earth-shattering one, but the team was quick to point out the importance of bouncing back with a solid game.

"This wasn't a big win against a name team, but in our minds it was a very needed win," sophomore Evan Button said. "Picking it up along with some momentum came at a great time. We are one of the best teams in the country, and we haven't been playing like it."

Worry spread throughout Swayze Field after the Bruins took the lead in the top of the fifth, but Ole Miss responded with a run in its half of the fifth, another in the sixth and two more in the seventh to put the game out of reach.

Logan Power saw his first action in the leadoff spot and thrived with two runs on a hit and an RBI. Zack Cozart, Jordan Henry, Fuller Smith and Button all contributed two hits apiece.

Button received the starting nod at third base and also made several superb defensive plays including two plays where his defense saved runs.

"I felt pretty confident at third and wanted them to hit the ball at me," Button said. "I had the chance to make a couple diving plays. The team was pressing a little, and we just have to sit back and play the game."

Button delivered Ole Miss' first triple of the season during the eighth inning as the ball missed leaving the yard by no more than a few feet.

"There is a jet stream in right center," Button said jokingly. "The sound of the ball hitting the wall haunts me at night."

Head coach Mike Bianco saw several positive things on Tuesday after the rough weekend

"It's not going to be easy," head coach Mike Bianco said. "Tonight, we did what we needed to do to win the game, and that was nice. We played great defense and continued to pitch very well. It's great to get a win and not waste anything."

True freshman Nathan Baker was effective in his second career start as he pitched into the sixth inning, allowing one run on four hits and striking out five.

"I felt a lot more relaxed today," Baker said. "The velocity was good, and my slider settled down after a couple innings. The umpire had a big zone, and there are eight players behind me backing me up."

Reliever Phillip Irwin (1-0) came on to earn the win with 1.2 innings of scoreless hurling. Also getting time on the mound was Cody Satterwhite, who struck out half of his four batters faced in the eighth, and Scott Bittle allowed a run in the ninth but picked up his third save of the season after striking out the side.

"Pitching wise, to basically not give up an earned run, it was a great outing for the guys," Bianco said. "It was something that we definitely needed.

The Bruins first run came in the fifth when Brandon McCall jogged home on a passed ball by Brett Basham. Belmont tied Ole Miss with nine hits, but the Rebel pitching used 10 combined strikeouts to get out of several jams.

Ole Miss answered in the sixth with an RBI single by Henry to score Andrew Clark. An inning later, Smith cued a seeing-eye single through the right side to bring home Power, who doubled to open the frame.

During the seventh, Power picked up another run on a ground ball that scored Henry before Cozart added the final insurance three batters later with a sharp single to left field.

Charles Lee (1-1) took the loss for Belmont with three runs in one inning of work. He was removed before recording an out in the seventh. Bruin starter Ben Meador threw five innings and allowing only one run.

The Rebels open up the Dairy Queen Classic at the Minneapolis Metrodome against Arkansas at 12:15 p.m. on Friday.

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