Rebel offense effective in season opener

It took a little while but the offense got going for 4th-ranked Ole Miss in its 8-1 season-opening win over Minnesota.

A game-time temperature that started out at 42 degrees but dropped considerably by game's end didn‘t make this an easy day to play baseball. But the Rebel hitters said they weren't too bothered by it, and as the game progressed it showed.

"I think everybody's approach was basically the same," said Cody Overbeck, 2-for-4 on the day with a double and an RBI. "We just didn't get the base hits sometimes when we needed them. But we had guys on almost every inning. We could have scored four or five more runs, especially in like the second through sixth innings or so. But Lance (Lynn) was doing a great job, even though we weren't hitting the ball good. Lance is basically unhittable."

The Rebels stranded 11 runners but had four players with multiple hits. In addition to Overbeck, Michael Guerrero, Logan Power, and Jordan Henry each had two hits.

Guerrero saw his first Division I action after a JUCO career. His two-hit day included a double and a home run into the new home bullpen, a two-run blast in the eighth inning that rounded out the scoring for the Rebels.

"Unbelievable," he said of the home run. "I just went up there swinging and being aggressive like Coach Rob (Reinstetle) told us to do, and I ran into one. I kinda knew what was coming. He threw a changeup to me, and then he tried to bust me in with a fastball. I just turned on it."

Guerrero, 2-for-5 with two RBI, said it was only a matter of time for the Rebels' offense to get going. They'd seen it every day in practice.

"We've been hot all spring," he said. "We've just been waiting to unleash. Their pitcher was really good. He kept us off balance, just hitting his spots outside and inside. We finally got a hold of ‘em."

The outfielder by trade DH'ed in this one. He said he had looked forward to this day for a while.

"It's opening day," Guerrero said. "You're jittery out there and ready to make something happen. I loved it."

Guerrero said he felt good after hitting the double. But not as good as he did when the long ball left the ballpark.

"I think Justin Cryer caught it in the bullpen," he said, smiling. "I've actually got it in my back pocket."

One Rebel who was likely less jittery was the seasoned outfield veteran Power, whose two-RBI single through the left side of the infield got the Rebels on the scoreboard in the third.

"It was a little harder out there with the cold and also with the wind blowing in," said Power, 2-for-4 with four RBI. "I got some good pitches and put some good swings on ‘em. All in all we had a good offensive day."

Power said the Rebels' offense on day one could be called efficient.

"It's opening day and you've got all this adrenaline rushing," he said. "We might have been out front on a couple of pitches early, but I thought we settled in later in the game and swung the bats well."

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