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On a day where the bench was once again emptied due to a third-straight blowout of their Big Ten opponent, the Ole Miss coaches ran through the roster of pinch-hitters before becoming creative. Mike Bianco and company gave a pitcher the chance to take a few swings.

Left-handed hurler Brett Bukvich, who is rehabbing an injured elbow, donned a helmet during the bottom of the eighth and approached the plate with bat in hand. The last of 16 different players to get an at-bat Sunday, Bukvich went down swinging at three pitches, however, that was pretty much the only offensive complaint on the close of the weekend.

"I didn't even have my jersey or cleats on when they said to go in," joked Bukvich, who finished the game playing first base. "It was fun. Not a bad start to the season."

No, not a bad start at all.

The No. 4 Rebels (3-0) mauled Minnesota (0-3) in a 15-4 whitewash to sweep the series and begin the season undefeated. Sean Stuyverson and Zach Miller each went three-for-five with two RBI and three runs scored to lead the Ole Miss assault. Meanwhile, Nathan Baker (1-0) tossed five scoreless innings to pick up the win and three other pitchers held the Gophers scoreless in their collegiate debuts.

Minnesota starter Dustin Brabender (0-1) kept the Rebels at zero through the first inning, but like the rest of the weekend, it was only a matter of time. Ole Miss pushed four runs across in the second frame and scored during six straight innings. Brabender left after two and one-third, suffering the loss.

Friday night starter Tom Buske was the lone Minnesota pitcher to last at least three innings during the series. He pitched 3.2. For the weekend, Ole Miss struck for 45 runs, which is just two shy of the series record of 47 set against Purdue in 2005. It was also the first three-game sweep of an opponent since the Rebels dominated Tennessee in 2006.

"There really isn't much to complain about after this weekend," Bianco said. "We started challenging the kids on Friday to take care of business all three games. Especially after not sweeping last year. They responded in all three phases."

While the hitters pounded the baseball, the Ole Miss pitchers punched out 39 Gophers on the weekend. Baker allowed three hits Sunday, while Jake Morgan, Drew Pomeranz and Matt Tracy saw the field for the first time as Rebels and allowed just one combined hit. Pomeranz and Morgan struckout two apiece.

Garrett Duff also saw his first action but was banged up for four runs in the ninth inning.

The 6-9 hitters went 11-19, paced by Stuyverson and Miller. Stuyverson blasted his first career Division I home run and made a solid case to remain the starter at third base.

"It was great to have a day like this and get in a groove," Stuyverson said. "The home run was really exciting when it went over the wall. The entire day was big for me. I am feeling pretty incredible right now."

Michael Hubbard, Evan Button and Brett Basham also hammered out multiple hits, and Cody Overbeck belted his third home run of the season. Every Ole Miss starter reached base.

"I was a little shaky early, and then we started scoring all those runs," Baker said. "That definitely helps everything."

Ole Miss returns to action Tuesday and Wednesday at home against Northwestern State. Phillip Irwin will start on Tuesday, and Pomeranz will take the hill Wednesday.

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