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Ole Miss hopes the hits keep coming in the Governor’s Cup

Ole Miss hopes the hits keep coming in the Governor’s Cup

OXFORD – With the season winding down and the Governor’s Cup on Tuesday, No. 9 Ole Miss hopes to continue the offensive rhythm it found against Auburn this past weekend.

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Ryan Olenek delivered a three-run homer to tie the game with Auburn in the bottom of the ninth. (Photo credit: Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics)

Though it took until the eighth inning for the Rebels to get the hit parade started Sunday, the team did not get frustrated with bad swings because they knew sooner or later someone would rise to the occasion at just the right time.

And the bottom of the ninth inning in game three against Auburn on Sunday was the perfect time.

Just ask freshman Ryan Olenek or junior Henri Lartigue how great it is to be a part of the team’s largest ninth-inning comeback since the Rebels trailed Mississippi State by five before ultimately winning in the 10th inning on May 9, 2015.

Sunday afternoon marked the second time this season Ole Miss (31-10, 10-8 Southeastern Conference) has rallied back from a deficit of five runs or greater. (The Rebels trailed Memphis 6-0 on March 2 before defeating the Tigers 9-7.)

After being such a huge part of the 6-5 win over Auburn, Olenek commented on what it feels like to be a part of this Ole Miss team:

Unbelievable. It’s pretty great. Just coming in here, this is the closest team I have ever been on, so it’s really cool to win like this.

Freshman Ryan Olenek

Lartigue’s thoughts on Olenek

As for Lartigue, he is impressed with Olenek and the contributions the former Trinity Prep product is making to the team.

He’s just a tremendous competitor. He has great fire. Just playing the game, he really goes hard. You can’t ask for more than that from a guy that’s a freshman. Just the fact he has had this much success is really impressive.

Henri Lartigue on Ryan Olenek

Ole Miss bats come alive in final two innings

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Rebels rush to celebrate Henri Lartigue’s walk-off single in the win over Auburn Sunday. (Photo credit: Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics)

Junior infielder Colby Bortles started Ole Miss’ comeback against the Tigers Sunday with a two-run homer that cut the Rebels’ deficit to 5-2. Olenek and Lartigue picked up where Bortles left off.

With two men on base in the bottom of the ninth, Olenek smashed his second home run of the season to tie the game at five. The freshman has been clutch in the ninth inning, going 5 for 7 so far this season.

Following Olenek’s heroics, Lartigue delivered a walk-off single that drove in Tate Blackman and sealed the win for the Rebels. Ole Miss tallied 10 hits against Auburn, finishing with a total of 33 in the series.

Bullpen carries Rebels until bats get hot

But before the ninth-inning magic, there wasn’t a whole lot for Mike Bianco and the Rebels to smile about. In the first seven innings, Ole Miss only managed four hits—and being down 5-0 didn’t help either. But the Rebels kept swinging and their pitching carried them until the hits finally came.

I think once James (McArthur) came in and give us three or four zeros, it was like ‘Alright, we just got to get some runners on base and we can change this game up.’ We knew if we could get into the bullpen and create some momentum we would have a shot there at the end.

Henri Lartigue

Lartigue is now focused on the Governor’s Cup Tuesday night inside Trustmark Park and knows what is at stake.

“It’s the next game and you can’t worry about it until it’s here. Well, it is here now,” Lartigue said. “It’s just another chance for us to get another ‘W’ and just increase our resume to give us a chance to play here in the postseason.”

Governor’s Cup

The surge in hitting is timely for Ole Miss as they face No. 3 Mississippi State (27-13-1, 10-8) in the Governor’s Cup. The last time the two met, the Bulldogs got the better of the Rebels in Starkville with a 2-1 series win. The Bulldogs are coming off a big 2-1 series win over LSU in Baton Rouge this past weekend.

Probable Pitching Matchup

Ole Miss: Chad Smith, Jr., RHP, 3-3, 4.99 ERA

Mississippi State: Ryan Cyr, Fr., RHP, 1-0, 0.00 ERA

Game info

Matchup: No. 9 Ole Miss vs. No. 3 Mississippi State

Location: Pearl, Miss., Trustmark Park

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Television: SEC Network

Series: Tied 18-18

Last Governor’s Cup: April 28, 2015–Ole Miss won, 11-1.

About The Author

Courtney Smith

Courtney is from Memphis and received his Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in May of 2014. He began his journalism career covering the Memphis Tigers Men's basketball team, which landed him an intern position on 730 Yahoo Sports Radio and a position with Rivals.com. A freelance writer for the Associated Press, Courtney is also a member of The Rebel Walk team and reports regularly on Ole Miss football and basketball. Courtney, the father of a six-year old girl named Soniyah, prefers to cover NCAA basketball and football, but is happy to report on any other sport that comes his way.

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