OXFORD, Miss. (WCBI/Ole Miss Athletics) – Bobby Wahl and Aaron Greenwood combined to hold the Crimson Tide to two hits as No. 18 Ole Miss (24-10, 5-8 SEC) shutout No. 22 Alabama (22-14, 8-5 SEC) to claim the series opener by a score of 6-0.
Wahl (7-0) turned in his seventh quality start of the season, allowing only one hit with five walks and three strikeouts in his 6.0 innings of work before handing the ball off to Greenwood. The junior right-hander then picked up his second save of the season, holding Alabama to one hit in the final 3.0 innings and striking out three batters.
Charley Sullivan (3-3) took the loss for the Crimson Tide, allowing four runs on five hits with a walk and three strikeouts in 3.0 innings of work.
“I’m proud of the way that we played tonight,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “After all that has been happening over the past few weeks, the guys played really hard tonight. We had a lot of energy, especially early on. It was kind of the goal that we talked about with Coach (Cliff) Godwin, that we would be super aggressive and try to make things happen.
“We had a lot of hit and runs and put a lot of guys in motion,” Bianco said. “It was something that we haven’t had in a while, the two-out RBI. We had the big double by (Tanner) Mathis and a big double by (Stuart) Turner. We had a good first few innings to get us going. You can’t ask for much more out of Bobby (Wahl) and Aaron (Greenwood). They put up zeros the whole night. Bobby was probably as good as I’ve ever seen him in the first few innings.”
Once again, the Rebels turned in an efficient offensive night similar to the manner in which the squad got off to a 21-2 start to the season. Ole Miss plated six runs on seven hits, including a two-run home run from junior catcher Will Allen in the eighth inning to extend the lead.
The Rebels got on the board in the first inning with an RBI double from Stuart Turner that brought home Auston Bousfield, who reached when he was hit by a pitch. The two-out hit from Turner started the scoring as Ole Miss would push runs home in each of the first three innings.
The lead grew with an RBI double from Tanner Mathis in the second inning before the Rebels would capitalize with smart base-running in the third inning to bring two runs home.
Turner scored the first of two runs in the third frame when he came home on a single through the right side from Sikes Orvis. The hit, which came with men at the corners, sent Andrew Mistone from first to third to set up the second scoring play of the inning.
Orvis got caught in a rundown between first and second on what was one of several hit-and-run plays in the third inning, allowing Mistone to come home from third and give Ole Miss the 4-0 lead.
Alabama pitchers held the Rebels in check until the eighth inning when Allen delivered his two-run shot over the bullpen in left field to take the lead out to 6-0. Allen’s home run with two outs gave the Rebels four two-out RBI on the night.
The Rebels cruised through much of the game, escaping the biggest scoring threat from the Crimson Tide in the sixth inning. With the bases loaded and one out on the board, Wahl coaxed back-to-back Alabama batters to hit into foul fly balls to first and the backstop to end the attempted rally by the visiting Tide
Ole Miss and Alabama will return to action in game two of the weekend series at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Swayze Field. The game will be televised by CSS following the Rebels’ annual Grove Bowl game in football as a part of Grove Bowl Weekend.