OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss followed up Friday’s season-opening win with an 8-1 victory over Winthrop on Saturday that gives the Rebels the series. The Ole Miss bats were hot again in game two, recording 14 hits and a homer, and the pitching was solid as the Rebels only gave up one run, which was not earned.
(Click here for box score.)
Brady Feigl got the start on the mound for Mike Bianco’s squad and had a solid performance. He gave up six hits; however, he struck out six batters and didn’t allow a run to score in six innings of action.
“I felt good,” Feigl said. “I felt healthy. They do a good job of building us up.”
Ole Miss was strong with two outs, going 11-19 at the plate and scoring all but one of their runs in the process, something Mike Bianco emphasized that Ole Miss needed to improve upon from last year.
“As an offense it’s huge,” Bianco said. “But it’s also deflating for the other team when you’re one out away from finishing the inning but you can’t.”
The Big Zabowski
The students in right field can thank sophomore Cole Zabowski for a beer shower when he blasted a 3-run homer in the bottom of the second inning. He finished the night 2-4 at the plate with four RBI.
“I knew it once the right fielder got to the wall. I thought it might have a chance. I was just trying to go up there and do some damage.“
Cole Zabowski on his home run against Winthrop
— OMSP (@OleMissVideo) February 18, 2018
Chase Cockrell, in his first start of the season as the designated hitter, had a very impressive debut at the plate. He finished 3-3 including a double and scored two runs.
“Guys like Cole Zabowski and Chase Cockrell that had big nights tonight that didn’t start on opening night, and were here last year and come out and really have great offensive nights–that’s neat to see,” Bianco said.
In the bottom of the sixth, Zabowski added another RBI to his stat line when he singled to center. Tim Elko then hit a single, and a run scored thanks to a fielding error by Winthrop. That gave the Rebels a 6-0 lead.
“It’s always big when we have good offensive nights,” Zabowski said.
“We believe we’re a good offense and we worked really hard in the offseason to have nights like this.”
Rebels solid on the mound
Greer Holston came out of the bullpen in the seventh in relief of Feigl. Holston was dominant in his two innings, not giving up a single hit. Although the Eagles’ only run came with him on the mound, it was not earned.
“He was terrific,” Bianco said. “Especially in his first inning he was really dominant. I like that after the two errors he was able to bounce back.”
Winthrop ruined the Ole Miss shutout attempt when they got on the board after a couple of errors by the Rebels that made the score 7-1. “It’s tough sometimes to pitch with the lead,” Bianco said. “We screwed it up in that inning with the errors.”
Freshman Tim Elko added another run to the Ole Miss total when he hit a sac-fly to left-field that almost went the distance. The sacrifice allowed another freshman, Carl Gindl, to reach home.
“It’s nice to get off to a good start. Nobody knows more than us that it’s a long season, but it’s nice.“
Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco
Ole Miss and Winthrop will face off at 12:30 p.m. (CT) Sunday in Oxford for game three of the series.