OXFORD, Miss. -- The Ole Miss baseball team put together one of the most devastating offensive outputs in recent program history Wednesday night, downing Arkansas State 15-3 and moving to 2-1 on the young season.
Two five spots and a four-run frame highlighted the Rebels scoring, as Ole Miss tallied a season-best 19 hits, their most since May of 2016, when they cranked out 21 against league-foe Kentucky in Oxford.
The meat of the order provided a plethora of production, as the three-through-six spots in the lineup went 18-for-22 with 13 RBI and scored nine times.
Sophomore Tyler Keenan turned in a career-high five RBI on a 3-for-5 day with a home run and junior Thomas Dillard drove in three with a triple and long ball. Both also scored twice, joining their respective classmates in senior Ryan Olenek on a 4-for-5 day (matching a career high) and sophomore Anthony Servideo, who picked up a pair of hits. Junior Cole Zabowski also registered three hits, including a double.
Junior Grae Kessinger and sophomore Carl Gindl each scored three times as Kessinger also turned in three hits on the day.
After trailing 2-0 in the opening stanza to the Red Wolves courtesy of a double and a pair of singles, Ole Miss wasted no time responding.
Kessinger led off the contest, taking his second pitch to left center for a single, then advancing to third on a single sent up the right side from Servideo. Both came home on the round-tripper from Keenan, blasting his second of the year.
The offensive surge continued, as Dillard tripled and came home on a single from Olenek, who himself crossed the plate after advancing on a single from Zabowski and scoring on a RBI groundout from right fielder Tim Elko.
The Red Wolves trimmed the lead the following frame, using two singles bookended on a pair of infield groundouts.
The Rebels clung to the narrow two-run advantage until the fourth, when the bats lit up once again.
Gindl led off with a his first career hit back up the middle, advancing on a full-count walk to Kessinger. Servideo brought him home on a ball placed perfectly into left field, and then Keenan brought home Kessinger. Olenek chiseled another RBI after poking a ball through the right side, bringing home Servideo.
Back-to-back doubles from Zabowski and senior designated hitter Chase Cockrell finalized the scoring in the frame.
Ole Miss continued to add cushion in the fifth, finding even more production from the same set of stars. Gindl crossed the plate after reaching on a third-strike wild pitch and moving up on singles from Kessinger and Keenan. Enter red-hot Dillard, who smacked his second home run of the year, putting the Rebels up 14-3.
Gindl plated his third run of the contest and final of the game in the sixth, taking a free pass and then moving up on yet another Kessinger single before coming home on a fielder's choice connection from Servideo.
The Rebel bullpen combined for 10 strikeouts across seven shutout innings, as right-handers Houston Roth and Connor Green each fanned four apiece across two frames of work in their 2019 debuts.
Ole Miss will conclude the series with Arkansas State in May, traveling to Jonesboro.
The Rebels next face Tulane, traveling to New Orleans for their first road series of the season this weekend.
- Ole Miss batters had 19 hits on the day, the most since they had 21 against the Kentucky Wildcats in May of 2016.
- Eight Rebels entered the scorebook with a hit on the day, while seven recorded a run.
- The Rebels had four batters with three or more hits: Grae Kessinger, Tyler Keenan, Cole Zabowski, and Ryan Olenek.
-Ryan Olenek tied a career-high with four hits on the day, while Tyler Keenan recorded a new best with five RBI.
- Grae Kessinger tied his career-best with three runs on the day.
- Five Rebel pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts on the day.
- Carl Gindl recorded his first career hit today with a single up the middle in the fourth inning.
- Cole Zabowski stole his first base as a Rebel, as part of a double steal in the first inning. The Rebels also stole four bases as a team, the same as their first two games combined.
- A pair of freshman, Gunnar Hoglund and Doug Nikhazy, made their first career appearances in Wednesday's game.