Rolison shines in Rebels’ 7-3 win over Winthrop in season-opener
OXFORD, Miss. – Head coach Mike Bianco is now 17-1 in opening day games at Ole Miss following a 7-3 season-opening win over Winthrop. The No. 9 Rebels were able to make it look easy against the Eagles largely due to the magnificent performance by Ryan Rolison on the mound, combined with a very solid Ole Miss offense.
(Click here for box score.)
Rolison had a spectacular season debut, racking up 12 strikeouts against 18 batters, while allowing only one hit and no earned runs. Rolison set a new career high with his 12 Ks, a good start for Mike Bianco’s ace.
“I felt good out of the gate and was able to find my fastball early along with my slider,” Rolison said.
“I think there was a little adrenaline in me in the first inning because of opening day, but I settled in and was able to fill up the zone.”
Ryan Rolison, Ole Miss pitcher
The scoring started early for the Rebels. Freshman third baseman Tyler Keenan went up to bat and smacked a two RBI double for his first collegiate hit, which was also his first at-bat, to give Ole Miss the lead in the bottom of the second.
“It was a nice night offensively because it came from some different people. Like freshman Tyler Keenan with two hits and a big double with runners on second and third, and Tim Rowe who hit the big home-run.”
Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco
Tyler Keenan may have gotten the scoring started at Swayze, but Tim Rowe got the party started. Rowe hit a three-run bomb to right-center for Ole Miss’ first homer of the year to make the score 5-0.
“We know on the inside that we can really hit,” Thomas Dillard said. “If we can hit like that every night we’ll be good.”
Will Golsan followed up on the two consecutive scoring innings and made it three in the fourth after hitting an RBI single to extend the Rebel lead to 6-0.
“We were able to get the timely hit,” Mike Bianco said. “We were able to bunch the hits together, which we didn’t do last year.”
After five innings, Houston Roth took over on the mound for Rolison. Roth had a somewhat shaky sixth inning, giving up two earned runs. However, he settled down in the seventh and eighth and didn’t allow any more hits or runs.
“It was good for Roth to get some innings because he’s got a big start on Tuesday,” Rolison said.
Keenan added another hit and another RBI in the eighth to improve upon his spectacular Ole Miss debut. Keenan finished the game 2-4 at the plate with two RBI and a single.
“Everyone knows us for our pitching and we just proved to everyone that we can hit,” Tyler Keenan said. “Thirteen hits in one game is pretty good, I’m glad to see that.”
First pitch in game two of the series is set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday.