In its Southeastern Conference opener, Ole Miss changed the script on Arkansas by using the long ball to bash the Razorbacks 7-1 Friday night in Fayetteville.
Preston Overbey smashed a two-out, grand slam home run in the second inning to power Ole Miss past Razorbacks, who were the pre-season No. 1 ranked team in the nation. Ole Miss added a second home run in the fourth by Sikes Orvis and finished with 10 hits.
On this night, however, it was Ole Miss that looked like a sure fire top five team. The sixth ranked Rebels improved to 19-1 overall and 1-0 in SEC play. The win gives coach Mike Bianco's team the best start in school history, eclipsing the 2004 team's 18-1 mark.
"Obviously we got the big punch early from Preston," Bianco said. "Sikes (Orvis) hit the ball well and he smashed one earlier in that inning that would have been out of any other ball park in the country. He comes back the next time and puts it out to left."
Orvis' solo shot in the fourth inning made it 5-1. Ole Miss tacked on two more runs after the blast to stake starter Bobby Wahl to a 7-1 lead.
Wahl, after a shaky first two innings, looked like a pre-season All-American from the third inning until he left the game after seven innings. He retired nine in a row at one point, including three straight strikeouts.
Wahl allowed Arkansas (13-6, 0-1) just three hits, all coming in the first two innings. He finished with five strikeouts and walked three in moving to 5-0 on the season.
"We've been playing well, but the question was, could we bring it when the lights came on Friday night," Bianco asked.
Questioned answered. Ole Miss rocked Arkansas starter Trey Killian for seven runs off five hits. They got five more hits off reliever Camden Simpson but did not score.
Bobby Wahl earned the win on the mound for the Rebels.
Arkansas took a 1-0 lead in the first when Jacob Mahan doubled and scored on a hit by Tyler Spoon.
Ole Miss answered in the second. Andrew Mistone singled, Will Allen singled and Will Jamison drew a two-out walk to load the bases for Overbey. On a 2-1 pitch, Overbey blasted a Killian offering to left for the grand slam.
Overbey finished with two hits and four RBIs to lead the Rebels. Allen had two hits and two runs scored while Stuart Turner had two hits. Auston Bousfield had an RBI double in the fourth to account for the Rebels last run.
Scott Weathersby pitched the final two innings for Ole Miss and struck out three.
The series resumes Saturday at 2:05 p.m.
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