OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss earned its fifth series victory of the season after defeating Tennessee on Sunday. After a disappointing loss Friday night, the No. 6 Rebels (19-2, 2-1 SEC) bounced back and won the last two games convincingly, only allowing one run in the final two games combined.
(Click here for box score.)
James McArthur (3-0) took his spot on the mound as the Sunday starter and pitched lights-out. He threw six scoreless, with four K’s, while allowing only two hits in the win.
“I think he was terrific,” head coach Mike Bianco said.
“He really controlled both sides of the plate with his fastball, and enough breaking balls to keep them honest. It was really a dominant fastball today.”
Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco on pitcher James McArthur
Jacob Adams was arguably the MVP of the series coming into Sunday, and he delivered another outstanding game to cement his status as the weekend’s most valuable player.
After being placed at the leadoff spot due to Grae Kessinger’s injury absence, Adams stayed hot and smacked a solo dinger to start the game and give Ole Miss a 1-0 lead. He finished the weekend 6-for-10 at the plate with five RBI and four runs scored.
“Just a great weekend [for Adams],” Bianco said. “When he’s gotten opportunities he’s played really well.”
Adams’ leadoff homer would be a sign of things to come for the Rebs. After Ryan Olenek’s RBI double that made the score 2-0, Cole Zabowski would smash one to the student section just one inning later in the sixth to give Ole Miss a three-run lead.
“To swing it really well the past two days, to pitch it really well and really to play clean defense says a lot about how we’re playing,” Bianco said.
One might have expected to see closer Dallas Woolfolk, who didn’t make an appearance in the first two games, enter the game for the Rebels in the ninth–until Thomas Dillard cranked a two-run bomb to break the game open at 5-0 in the eighth.
“We were going to him,” Bianco said of Woolfolk. “When it was 3-0 he was coming into the game, but once Thomas hit that home run that was it.”
(Ole Miss pitcher James McArthur – Video credit: Justin Dial)