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Ole Miss blanks Alabama, 1-0, to take opening game of series with Crimson Tide

Ole Miss blanks Alabama, 1-0, to take opening game of series with Crimson Tide

OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss pitching was outstanding in the opening night of SEC play as the Rebels defeated Alabama, 1-0, at Swayze Field Friday night. (Click here for box score.)

Junior Cole Zabowski hit a solo home run to right field in the second inning, and that was all the Diamond Rebels needed to defeat the Crimson Tide.

Ole Miss (13-5, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) pitching dominated with starter Will Ethridge going six innings on the mound and striking out nine in the process–just one short of a career-high. His final line includes three hits, no runs, and four walks, giving him an ERA of 0.35.

Juniors Austin Miller and Parker Caracci combined for three innings of work, striking out five and only giving up one hit.

While Ole Miss totaled six hits on the night, two of those came from Zabowski, who went 2-4 against Alabama. Junior Grae Kessinger and sophomore Anthony Servideo provided the other Ole Miss hits on the day.

After the fastball in, I knew there was a chance he was going to come with the off-speed. I just looked for it up in the zone, and it’s nice to not miss it.”

Ole Miss first baseman Cole Zabowski on his home run

The Rebels stranded two runners in each of the sixth and seventh innings, but fortunately Zabowski’s homer was all that was needed.

Quick Hits

  • The win Friday was the first 1-0 victory for Ole Miss since March 17, 2017, when the Rebels outlasted Vanderbilt in Oxford.
  • Starting pitcher Will Ethridge fell one shy of his career-high, striking out nine across six innings. He has struck out 10 three times in his career, most recently against Auburn last May.
  • Friday was also the third time this season Ethridge did not surrender a run, totaling 14.2 innings of unblemished baseball across four starts. He has allowed just one earned run across 19.2 total innings this season.
  • The Rebels have now won three of their last four contests against the Tide, dating back to 2018 when they took 2-of-3 to secure a portion of the SEC West Title.
  • Cole Zabowski’s homer was his fourth of the season and the 23rd of the season for Ole Miss, a statistic they rank in the Top 10 in the country in.
  • Across his last six contests, Zabowski has registered a .455 average and a .773 slugging, with 10 hits, seven runs, and a .520 on-base percentage.

(“Quick Hits” are courtesy of Ole Miss Baseball.)

Postgame Quotes

Head coach Mike Bianco, pitcher Will Ethridge and first baseman Cole Zabowski spoke with the media following the Rebels’ win over Alabama. John Mark Bourne captured these videos for The Rebel Walk.

Coach Mike Bianco

Will Ethridge

Cole Zabowski

About The Author

Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn's love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship--and continued as she watched Katie receive three degrees from Ole Miss, culminating with her Pharm D. in 2012. Evelyn, a member of the FWAA, USBWA and the NCBWA, has covered Rebel sports for numerous outlets. In addition to working for The Rebel Walk, Evelyn is a sports writer for a newspaper in Texas.

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