Safe At Home

Things were rocking along pretty well for Central Arkansas. Then came the fifth and sixth innings.

The visiting Bears, helping christen the "new" Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field, led 2-0 until the Rebel bats came alive. Ole Miss scored nine runs in those two innings and moved on to a 10-2 victory.

Central Arkansas starter Reece Cross had a no hitter going, for at least a while. Matt Smith got the Rebels' first hit in the bottom of the fourth, a smash off UCA third baseman Jonathan Yerby that he couldn't handle. The hit led to no Rebel runs, but that was about to change.

In the bottom of the fifth, Jordan Henry singled in Kevin Mort, who had walked, and Brett Basham, who had doubled. With the score tied 2-2, Smith walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. Logan Power then singled to score both Henry and Smith.

Up 4-2, the Rebels added five runs in the sixth. Taylor Hashman, inserted to DH at that moment for David Phillips, sent one over the left center wall for a 5-2 UM lead. Tim Ferguson doubled down the left field line that cleared the bases with three Rebs on. A UCA error allowed Smith to reach, scoring Ferguson.

The Rebels, who had eight hits on the day, got one more run in the eighth for the final tally.

"It was a good day for us. It just took us a while to get going," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco, his team improving to 2-2 on the season. "In those two innings, the fifth and the sixth, we were able to chain some things together and get some runs."

Ferguson, suspended the first weekend for violation of a team rule, said it was nice to be back in play.

"It was great," said Ferguson, one of eight Rebels who got a hit in this one. "People kept telling me the past couple of days we needed a spark in the lineup. I wanted to bring some energy, and I feel I did that today. It was just one big hit, but I feel I was able to bring that spark."

Nathan Baker made his first start of the season and went 4.2 innings with two runs (only one earned) on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts.

Jake Morgan got the win and was the second of four pitchers used by Ole Miss. The righty went 2.1 innings with no further damage, a hit, a walk, and four strikeouts.

Wade Broyles and Matt Tracy went an inning apiece to wind things up.

Dustin Ward, the second of five pitchers for UCA, got the loss.

Senior left-hander Brett Bukvich gets the start for Ole Miss Wednesday at 3 p.m. against these same Bears, who fell to 2-2 on the year. The projected Central Arkansas starter is freshman RHP Logan Ariola.

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