“It was a game we hung in there,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco as his team bounced back from two straight losses with the victory. “We didn’t swing the bats early and left the bases loaded once. But we kept our composure, and the pitchers continued to pound the strike zone. Offensively I thought we were able to put two big innings together at the end.”
Sikes Orvis swing the biggest bat for the Rebels, going 3-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored.
“He just seems locked in, getting a lot of good swings off, and feeling good about himself," Bianco said of Orvis. "He’s feeling good up there and has a lot of confidence.”
Orvis said the Rebels, who had 13 hits in the game, were all feeling better about things as this one wrapped up.
“It’s always good to come out and put up a bunch of runs after a slow weekend offensively," he said. "But we trust our offense, and we weren’t too worried about it.”
The Rebels, 22-4 overall and 3-3 in Southeastern Conference play, manufactured a run without a hit in the first inning and watched as the Red Wolves took a 2-1 lead in the top of the second.
Orvis’ leadoff single to shallow center got something started for Ole Miss in the bottom of the second. Preston Overbey’s two-out single tied the game 2-2. Three scoreless innings followed for both teams.
Left-hander Austin Blunt had relieved Rebel RHP starter Josh Laxer with two outs in the fifth and got a one-pitch out via a bunt that he threw to first to end the inning.
The game was still 2-2 in the top of the sixth. After Ryan Emery singled and Logan Uxa reached on a Rebel error, Claude Johnson broke the tie with a RBI single to left, scoring Emery. There were still no outs in the sixth.
Ryan Roberts struck out to give Blunt a bit of breathing room. But an Austin Baker RBI single to left that dropped in front of Tanner Mathis gave the Red Wolves a 4-2 advantage. After Blunt departed in favor of righty Brady Bramlett, Alex Potts was up next and Bramlett got what he was looking for – a double play to keep things where they were.
Stuart Turner got things started for Ole Miss with the leadoff walk to begin the Rebel sixth. Andrew Mistone followed with a single to left to put runners at first and second with Orvis at the plate. Orvis singled to load the bases, and ASU brought in a new pitcher to face Will Allen.
Allen struck out. Holt Perdzock came in to pinch hit for Will Jamison and flew out to shallow left. The throw home as Turner tagged up and tried to make it was in time and he was tagged out to end the Rebel threat.
In the Rebel seventh, Tanner Mathis reached on one-out single, followed by a walk by Auston Bousfield. The runners moved to second and third on a wild pitch.
Austin Anderson singled to right to get both runs home and tie the game 4-4. Turner singled to right center and the bases were loaded for Mistone. The Rebel senior third baseman singled to shallow left center and Anderson came home for a 5-4 edge for Ole Miss.
Orvis welcomed pitcher Derek Birginske to the game with a RBI single to right that scored Turner for a 6-4 UM lead. Allen flew out to deep center field to score Mistone and a 7-4 lead.
The Rebels added three more runs in the eighth.
Laxer didn’t figure in the decision as Bramlett, the third of five pitchers used by Ole Miss, got the win to move to 4-0. But Laxer was solid in his 4.2 innings of work.
With the loss Arkansas State fell to 16-10 on the season.
Ole Miss heads to Gainesville for three Southeastern Conference games this weekend.