Demon Demolition

The Ole Miss baseball team picked up right where it left off, rolling past another opponent, this time 15-4 against Northwestern State, the same score as its Sunday win over Minnesota.

The second-ranked Rebels fell behind 2-0 in the top of the first inning. But in the bottom of the frame they put up a run and then added six in the bottom of the second and four more in the bottom of the third to lead 11-2 after three complete.

It was the fourth game in a row the Rebels had basically been unchallenged. In addition to the Sunday win over the Golden Gophers, Ole Miss defeated Minnesota 8-1 and 22-5.

"It's nice to win, obviously," Mike Bianco said. "It's nice to win another game where we have a big lead. I thought we swung the bats well. Today the key, which was different from this weekend, is we were able to get some runners in when they were in scoring position, especially early in the game at third base with less than two outs."

Phillip Irwin, with nine appearances and one start last season and a 2-0 record, got the win in his first start this season.

"Being the first time out, I stiffened up a little bit in the cold. It was freezing out there," said Irwin, who went five complete with three runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and two walks. "I had trouble locating my breaking ball for a strike early. I was getting the ball up. After I got out of that (first) inning, I felt good. I had to get the hands thawed out a little."

Bianco said Irwin had a solid outing for his first start of the season.

"Philip in the first inning pumped the ball into the strike zone." said Bianco after his team improved to 4-0 on the season "They got some hits. It's part of the game. We were able to turn a double play or two and make some plays defensively."

Irwin, a third-year sophomore, said pitching is made even more fun with the offensive punch the Rebels.

"It's real easy pitch," he said. "Just throw the ball down the middle, and even if you do give up a couple of runs, you know you're going to win the game."

The Rebels continued to display their offensive prowess with 14 hits, including three-hit performances from Brett Basham and Jordan Henry.

Basham continued his torrid hitting pace, going 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Henry was 3-for-5 with an RBI. Michael Hubbard got his first home run as a Rebel.

Also on the mound for the Rebels were Matt Tracy (2.0 innings pitched, 2 hits, 1 run, 5 strikeouts, 1 walk), Wade Broyles (1.0, 2 strikeouts), and Thomas Flautt (1.0 IP, 1 hit, 1 strikeout, 1 walk).

The losing pitcher for NWSU was starter Heath Hennigan, one of three pitchers used by the Demon coaches.

Northwestern State had a decent day at the plate with 11 hits, led by two-hole hitter Jordan Nipp, the left-fielder who went 3-for-3 with an RBI and two walks.

Ole Miss hosts the Demons, 2-2 on the year, again on Wednesday in another 3 p.m. start. Freshman Drew Pomeranz will get his first collegiate start. The 6-foot-5 left-hander pitched an inning of relief Sunday against Minnesota.

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