Battling Back

Following a frustrating Tuesday night loss to Central Arkansas, the Ole Miss coaches held a team meeting to stress the importance of staying motivated even if adversity was presented early. Sure enough, said misfortune materialized, and the Rebels responded.

Arkansas-Little Rock (4-13) built an early lead, but Ole Miss (14-6) answered right after and throttled the visiting Trojans 12-5 Wednesday at Swayze Field. The No. 8 Rebels hammered out 17 hits and outscored UALR by ten runs from the bottom of the second on.

"We met before the game and went in with a new attitude," Matt Smith said. "We wanted to start the slate over tonight. It has been a couple bad games, but Coach Rob (Reinstetle) said to get our best swing off and barrel the ball. We did a good job of that.

"Coach talked about responding. They score three, we score four. Chip away and stay in it."

The Trojans forced Reinstetle's pep talk into action by notching three runs in the second inning with three hits off Rebel starter Jake Morgan. The deficit didn't last long, however, as Ole Miss fought back with two in the bottom half and five the next frame to put distance between themselves and the midweek opponent.

Fuller Smith produced multiple hits for the second straight game with three hits and two runs scored, while Jeremy Travis made his first career start as a Rebel and reached base four times, finishing with two hits and three RBI.

"I'm just trying to stay relaxed up there and have a good time," Fuller said. "I couldn't go to sleep last night because of being sick at my stomach. You've got to flush it and come out to play."

Matt Smith, Brett Basham, Zach Miller and Michael Guerrero all collected two hits apiece as well, and Cody Overbeck kept his hit streak alive with a one-for-five performance. Overbeck, who had 3 RBI on the night, has now hit safely in all 20 games this season. He and Matt Smith both hit home runs to right field Wednesday.

Also, Zach Rutland collected his first career hit with an infield single in the eighth inning.

"We talked about feast or famine and tonight was obviously a feast," Bianco said. "It was a good effort offensively with the bats."

Morgan (1-0) went five innings for the win, allowing three earned runs on seven hits. The freshman struckout two and walked one in his first start and sixth appearance of the season. Matt Tracy, Garrett Duff and Wade Broyles finished the game for Ole Miss. Broyles walked in a run during the ninth, while the other two pitched scoreless outings.

Trojan starter Adam Champion (1-2) was tagged with the loss by surrendering six runs on four hits in 2.1 innings. UALR used six pitchers on the night.

Ole Miss returns to action Friday for a three-game series against the Florida Gators (3-0 SEC). It is the end of a five-game homestand. First pitch in the opener is at 6:30 p.m.

OM Spirit Top Stories