By Adam Brown
The No. 13 Ole Miss Rebels baseball team’s offense did not let the dreary weather deter their 15-9 victory over the UAB Blazers on Friday at Swayze.
Ole Miss (10-4) found themselves in an early 3-0 whole after the top of the first inning. It did not take the Rebels long to respond. Anthony Servideo scored the first run in the home half of the frame.
The Rebels’ offense got on a roll in the second inning as 14 players came up to bat in the frame and they plated nine runs. Cole Zabowski started it all off with a two-run home run that brought in Ryan Olenek. Three batters later freshman Kevin Graham delivered (the first home run of his career) a three-run shot to right field.
Coach Mike Bianco’s club was not done there as they got a double from Grae Kessinger, Servideo and Olenek in addition to base knocks off the bats of Thomas Dillard, Zaboswki, Olenek and Cooper Johnson in the frame.
Graham was knocked out of the game in the second inning after not being able to record an out. Graham finished the day giving seven hits, allowed a walk and no strikeouts in a 1.1 inning worth of work.
Will Ethridge settled down after a rocky first inning as he only allowed one more run over the next four frames on the bump. He gave up a total of 5 hits on the afternoon (with two extra base hits in a double and a home run) and allowed two walks and a strikeout. Ethridge picked up the win to move to 3-0 on the season.
The Blazers tried to cut into the lead in the third inning with a run. Ole Miss answered with a run of their own in the fourth as Chase Cockrell singled back up the middle that brought home Zaboswki.
Ole Miss brought Taylor Broadway out of the bullpen in the sixth to try and close the door on the Blazers as they attempted to rally back in the game. He tossed 3 complete innings giving up 3 runs on 5 hits and struck out 3 batters.
After Broadway left the game, Bianco used Kaleb Hill for the final three outs. UAB scratched an additional two runs across the plate to draw closer to the Rebels.
A total of six Ole Miss players had a multi-hit game against UAB in the opening game of the weekend with Kessinger (2-6), Servideo (2-5), Dillard (2-3), Olenek (3-5), Zaboswki (2-4) and Graham (2-4). Graham also had 4 RBIs.
Due to the threat of weather that will come through Oxford on Saturday, game two of the series has been moved to a 7 p.m. first pitch.