MONROE, La. - For the first time in 11 years, Ole Miss took the 4 1/2 hour bus ride to Monroe to play the University of Louisiana at Monroe and came away with an impressive 10-4 win over the Warhawks.
Mike Bianco...Photos by Josh McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics
Ole Miss, ranked in the top 10 in all five collegiate baseball polls, had one of its best offensive nights of the season according to head coach Mike Bianco. The Rebels, 17-1, had 12 hits against seven ULM pitchers.
"We were ready to play and had the best offensive night of the season," Bianco said. "We counted 35 quality at bats tonight. We played great considering the challenge of a 4 1/2 hour bus ride. It's something that's out of our normal routine."
Austin Anderson had another key hit, driving in three runs off a double in the sixth inning that extended a 5-1 Ole Miss lead to 8-1.
"I don't think I've seen a hit of mine stay on the ground for that long," Anderson said. "The grass is wet here, but I did hit it hard. It just kept rolling."
The ball went between both the center and right fielders and scored Preston Overbey, Tanner Mathis and Auston Bousfield.
Bousfield finished with three hits including a RBI double in the ninth that boosted an 8-4 lead to 9-4. Holt Perdzock also had an RBI hit to cap off the Rebels offense.
Pitching was another strong suit. Josh Laxer had a no hitter through five innings. ULM (8-8) got its first hit on one of two doubles by Dalton Herrington. He later scored to make it 5-1.
The second double came in the seventh and that led to a three-run rally that cut the Ole Miss lead from 8-1 to 8-4. Matt Denny came in and put out the fire. Aaron Greenwood got the final five outs.
Ole Miss strung together runs in the first, third, fourth and sixth to build an 8-1 lead. In the fourth, a hit batter, a walk and an error off a sac bunt chased home Sikes Orvis and moved Will Allen and Will Jamison into scoring position. Overbey delivered the two-run single to left to make it 5-1, Rebels.
In the sixth, singles by Overbey, a walk to Tanner Mathis and Auston Bousfield loaded the bases for Anderson. He took the first pitch from reliever Trey Setzer on a line past the infield and nearly to the wall in right-center. All three runners scored to make it 8-1.
Cale Wine, one of ULM's regular starters, went two innings and was charged with the loss to fall to 2-2 on the year. Laxer got the win to move to 2-0.
"My stuff felt pretty good," Laxer said. "My last outing (a 2-0 win over Southeastern Louisiana) helped me out."
The three Ole Miss pitchers combined to strikeout nine batters and limited the Warhawks to just three hits.