The Rebels won 9-3, but after taking a 9-0 lead through six innings, things got a little sloppy for the home team.
"Certainly happy to win all three games this weekend," said Ole Miss Coach Mike Bianco. "But the message to the team today is we can play better. We're leaving too many guys on base. We've got to do a little better job on the mound. Too many walks, and fell behind too many hitters."
The Rebels, 6-1 on the season, defeated the Grizzlies 9-1 Friday and 10-2 Saturday. On Sunday, the Rebs left 10 men stranded.
Sunday's game was scoreless through three innings as both starters – Trent Rothlin for the Rebels and Connor Mielock for the Grizzlies - pitched well early in the game. Neither offense did much.
The Rebels got on track in the fourth. David Phillips got his team on the scoreboard first with a two-run homer over the wall in left center, also scoring Zach Miller who had walked.
But in the fifth the Rebels broke the game open, adding four more runs. Matt Smith singled to left to score Tim Ferguson who had reached on a single to make it 3-0. Matt Snyder walked to load the bases, and Zach Miller was hit by a pitch to walk in a run and a 4-0 UM lead.
With two outs, Alex Yarbrough singled up the middle to score two runs for a 6-0 lead.
The Rebs added three more in the sixth. Kevin Mort led off with a double to the left corner. An infield single by Tanner Mathis got Mort to third.
Matt Snyder walked, but during his at-bat Mort was able to score from third on a wild pitch. Miller then doubled to the right center wall to score Mathis and Snyder. That made it 9-0 through six innings.
Things got a little shaky for the Rebels from that point on, although the outcome was never in doubt. In the final three frames, the Grizzlies scored three runs and the Rebels added no more for themselves.
Rory McKean relieved Trent Rothlin after the Rebel starter walked the leadoff batter in the sixth. McKean pitched one and two/thirds innings, allowing two runs on four hits with a strikeout and no walks.
Brett Huber came in for McKean and went 1.2 innings, giving up a run on two hits with four strikeouts and no walks.
David Goforth closed it out in the top of the ninth. Oakland (0-3) got two hits and a strikeout with no runs and no walks off the Rebel closer.
"I felt good," Goforth said. "My slider has been good, which is an improvement from last year. Overall I feel I've thrown pretty well."
Bianco said the Rebels will have to pick things up a notch moving on from here.
"We've got to do a little better on the mound," he said. "I was really pleased with the defense all weekend. The competition's going to get better over the next few days with Memphis (Tuesday night in Oxford) and Tulane (three games this weekend in New Orleans)."
Mike Snyder was set to start at third base but was pulled from the lineup after a ball in batting practice Sunday tore his index finger and, according to Bianco, wouldn't stop bleeding, regardless of how they bandaged it. He should be ready for Tuesday's game, however.
The only Rebel error recorded on the day was a throw to first base by Huber that was offline. But it came after Huber was hit in the back by a shot off the bat of an Oakland hitter. "It hit him in the ribs and I know it hurt a lot," Bianco said. "He's a tough kid, and he said it hurt." Huber continued to pitch the inning.
The Rebels have only six errors scored through seven games. Through most of the early season, the defensive efforts have come with ease.
Junior LHP Matt Tracy (0.96 ERA, 1-0 record) will start the Memphis game at Swayze Field at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. He has two appearances on the season with one start in a 3-2 win last Tuesday against Arkansas State.
The Rebels play their first road games of the season this weekend at Tulane. Game times are Friday at 6:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m.
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