Gritty Clincher

NEW ORLEANS – Day two of the Ole Miss-Tulane baseball series produced similar results from Friday night, as the Rebels won again and a collision at first base almost took a Rebel out.

On Friday night, Matt Snyder dove into first base to record an unassisted out of Green Wave player Nick Boullosa resulting in a dislocated shoulder for the sophomore Rebel. Ole Miss won 6-4. Snyder's return date is unknown, but may not be too far away.

On Saturday, in the Rebels' 5-1 win, pitcher Aaron Barrett raced to first to field a ball and get a Tulane runner out. Other than getting plowed over by none other than Boullosa himself, Barrett was OK after laying on the ground momentarily and getting checked out.

"I ran and picked it up, and the next thing I know the base is a couple of feet away from me," said Barrett, who got the win, and is 3-0 on the year. "The only chance I had was to tag with my hand which wasn't very smart."

But it's the way this team plays – all out, every play, it seems. Barrett wasn't necessarily happy with his day on the mound, but it was a gutsy performance considering the circumstances, according to head coach Mike Bianco.

"A gutsy performance by Aaron," he said, his team now 9-1 overall on the season. "He didn't have his best stuff, but pitched out of a few jams. He's a competitor. He just grinded it out."

David Goforth picked up his third save of the season, after he entered the game with the tying run on deck. However, as the second of two relief pitchers in the effort, he was able to hold off the Tulane (5-5) rally in the ninth.

With a man on second and only one out, Matt Tracy relieved Barrett in the seventh inning. He walked the first batter he faced, but a fly out and a strikeout ended the threat. Tracy gave way to Goforth in the ninth, but left with two men on base.

"Today was one of those days the stuff was there on and off. You just have to go out there and compete," said Barrett, who allowed one run on six hits in 6.1 innings, with seven strikeouts and four walks.

"I just battled and tried to get outs and let the defense work."

For the most part that's the way things went. The Rebels committed no errors to the Wave's two and outhit the home team 10-8.

"I got in a couple of tight spots, and I had a couple of big strikeouts," Barrett said. "Our defense has played great all year, and you just try to go out there and work."

Ole Miss struck first, a two-RBI single by Miles Hamblin breaking a scoreless game. The knock plated Taylor Hightower and David Phillips. Back-to-back doubles from Alex Yarbrough and Matt Smith added another an inning later.

Hightower tacked on some insurance in the top of the eighth inning on a fielder's choice, which brought in Taylor Hashman. Kevin Mort followed with a two-out, run-scoring single.

The lone Tulane run came in the bottom half of the fifth on a two-out single up the middle by Rob Segedin.

"Offensively, we have to do a better job. We had too many lulls in the offense," Bianco said. "We put an inning together and we were able to put some at-bats together and hit extremely well with runners in scoring positions. But it would be nice to have a few better at-bats. There were too many strikeouts and too many non-factors at the plate."

Ole Miss clinched the series with the win, and will meet Tulane for the rubber match Sunday at 1 p.m. The Rebels are in search of a series sweep for the second straight weekend.

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