DELAND, Fla. – The Rebels came out and turned in an all-around solid performance on opening night Friday, combining an opportunistic offense with a lock-down pitching performance as Ole Miss (1-0) shutout Stetson (0-1) by a score of 7-0.
Chris Ellis (1-0) picked up the win in his first Friday night start for the Rebels, working 6.0 scoreless innings, allowing four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Wyatt Short also turned in a solid outing, working 2.0 scoreless innings without allowing a hit and striking out four batters.
Hawtin Buchanan then closed things out, working a scoreless ninth inning to preserve the shutout for the Rebels.
Kurt Schluter (0-1) suffered the loss for the Hatters, allowing six runs on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts in 2.2 innings of work. Only two of the six runs were earned as the Rebels took advantage of miscues to break the game open early.
Auston Bousfield paced the Rebels offensively, going 3-for-3 with a run scored and a walk as the Rebels tallied nine hits on the night in an opportunistic offensive performance.
“I’m proud of the way we played on opening night on the road,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We really played well in all three phases of the game. Chris (Ellis) was just dominant tonight, as were all of our pitchers. Wyatt (Short) came in and pitched really well for his first collegiate outing. Auston (Bousfield) really got us going offensively and we got some big two-out RBI hits. That’s what you have to do to win.”
The Rebels got on the board in the first inning when Bousfield scored from second. The junior delivered a one-out double to the wall in left center to get things started. He then stole third during the next at bat and came home on the steal when the ball hit in the dirt and kicked to the backstop to give Ole Miss a 1-0 lead.
The lead grew in the third when Braxton Lee scored on a ground ball to first from Austin Anderson as part of a five-run inning for the Rebels.
Lee drew a walk to open the inning and took second on a steal. He then moved to third on a sac bunt from Bousfield down the third base line. The third baseman’s throw pulled the first baseman off the bag, allowing Bousfield to reach safely and put runners at the corners for the Rebels.
Lee then came home a batter later when Austin Anderson delivered a ground ball to first and the Hatters threw Bousfield out at second to get the lead runner. The Rebels held the 2-0 lead, however, with one out on the board. He then came home with a single to center from Will Allen and the Rebels moved the lead out to 3-0.
A double from Preston Overbey and a walk of Will Jamison loaded the bases before J.B. Woodman would send a single back up the middle to bring home two more runs and keep runners at the corners. Errol Robinson delivered a single to left to score a sixth run and send the Hatters to the bullpen for right-handed freshman Mitchell Jordan.
Jordan coaxed a pop up to left for the final out, but the Rebels held a 6-0 lead after the top half of the third.
Sikes Orvis added to the Rebels’ lead in the seventh inning, opening the frame with a solo shot to left field to give Ole Miss a 7-0 lead on the Hatters.
The Rebel bullpen held Stetson in check down the stretch as Ole Miss picked up the win in the series opener. The two teams will take the field for the second game of the series at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday afternoon.