The No. 8 Ole Miss Rebels fire power showed up on a chilly night at Swayze against the Austin Peay Governors. The Rebels cruised to a 11-4 victory in large at the bat of sophomore Thomas Dillard who hit two massive home runs.
Ole Miss’ (11-1) offense didn’t stay idol long against the Governors’ hurler in the second inning as Dillard connected on a pitch for an opposite field home run. The Rebels scratched another run off the bat of Tyler Keenan with a double that plated the second run.
Dillard talked after the game about bouncing back at the plate after a tough weekend against Long Beach State with bombs.
“It felt good,” Dillard said. “Your always going to have weekends like that when things aren’t going for you. You’ve got to focus on the next game and next pitch just to help your team out as much as you can.”
Austin Peay quickly responded with a run of their own in the third inning.
On Dillard’s next at bat, lightning struck twice in the form of a three-run shot to right field bringing Ryan Olenek and Nick Fortes home to push the lead to 5-1.
“I was a little bit more proud of the opposite field one,” Dillard said. “I have really been working. I have been working on that all year, so hitting that one was super.”
Sophomore Houston Roth made his third consecutive start on the season against the Governors. Austin Peay rattled Roth in the fifth as they combined hit after hit that ultimately allowed three runs to score. Roth finished the game striking out six batters in 4.2 innings of work.
Coach Mike Bianco then went to his bullpen to close the door on Austin Peay’s chances of getting back in the game as he used Will Stokes (2.1) and Will Ethridge (2.0). The senior, Stokes, garnered the win.
The Rebels weren’t done scoring as six runs came into score in the eighth inning. Will Golsan led the frame with a single to left. Cole Zabowski didn’t leave Golsan on base long as he hit a deep single to center to bring him home. Chase Cockrell busted a double to left. Keenan came to the plate with nobody out and delivered a three-run shot.
“Our pitching is always talked about and rightfully so,” Dillard said. “I think we have one of the best staffs in the country. Our hitting core 1-17 or 18, it is always on. You never know who is going to show up. So for all 12 games for us is great. I think it is going to continue throughout the year.”
Ole Miss returns to the diamond this evening as they host Little Rock. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m.
Adam Brown is the sports editor of Hottytoddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.HERE!