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Behind 7 RBI from Kevin Graham, No. 3 Ole Miss pounds Arkansas State 15-5 in rain-shortened game

Behind 7 RBI from Kevin Graham, No. 3 Ole Miss pounds Arkansas State 15-5 in rain-shortened game

OXFORD, Miss. – Wednesday the only thing that could stop the Ole Miss offense was Mother Nature.

The Rebels pounded out 12 hits in a 15-5 win over Arkansas State in a game halted in the bottom of the fifth inning due to a thunderstorm.

“Today, a tough day to play baseball, tough day to score runs, (but) we were able to do it somewhat easy,” head coach Mike Bianco said. “Our guys had some really good at bats. When they scored, we were able to answer back.”

The Red Wolves scored two runs in the first inning to take an early lead, but Ole Miss had the answer and starting pitcher Jack Washburn settled down to keep ASU in check.

 “Tough first inning (for Washburn),” Bianco said.

Sometimes the baseball Gods make it hard on you. Jack is a confident guy and hung in there. A lot of guys wouldn’t have been able to get out of the first. He gets out of the first, then gives us a couple of zeros after that which allowed us to get some runs and take a little bit of a breath. Proud of him for that.

Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco on Jack Washburn

Ole Miss (4-0) blew open the game in the fourth inning by scoring seven runs. Kevin Graham and Hayden Leatherwood highlighted the rally with back-to-back homers while Justin Bench added a double in the frame.

Graham finished 3-for-4 in the game while driving in seven runs. Calvin Harris and Reagan Burford each had a pair of hits for the Rebels.

“It’s a little tougher on everybody (with the rain),” Graham said.

Today is the day Coach B says all the time, ’No matter what the weather is, these games count. They go on your record.’ Better to play better and win the game rather than make some sort of excuse for why you didn’t play good.

Kevin Graham on playing well in inclement weather

Graham played well Wednesday and is getting in the groove of the season after a bit of a slow start last weekend in the Rebels’ sweep over Charleston Southern.

“Baseball is just a funny game,” Graham said Wednesday. “I wasn’t seeing it great those first few days. Nothing really felt that off, which is probably what was frustrating about it. I couldn’t put my finger on what was different, but it’s just important to go in and compete every at bat. Feel like you’re 10 for 10 instead of 0 for 10 and you’re going to have success.”

On the mound, Washburn went three solid innings to earn his first victory of the season.

The Rebels have gotten off to a strong start to the 2022 campaign, outscoring ASU and Charleston Southern 47-11.

Six Rebs are hitting .400 or better, led by Harris who is 4-for-7. Leatherwood, Graham and Tim Elko have each belted two home runs and Graham has driven in 11 runs.

The Rebels seem to also have a target on their backs as Ole Miss hitters have been hit by 11 pitches already. Peyton Chatagnier was hit twice Wednesday.

The Rebels are also a perfect 7-for-7 in stolen base attempts.

The Ole Miss pitching staff is averaging over ten strikeouts per game with 41 on the season, eight of those coming in a season-opening win from Derek Diamond. Ole Miss’ pitchers have combined for a 3.10 earned run average while the offense has touched up the opponents for a 12.97 ERA.

Next Up

The Rebels are in action again this weekend when Virginia Commonwealth comes to Swayze Field for a three-game set starting Friday at 4 p.m.

(Feature image credit: Ole Miss Athletics)

Steve Barnes
Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.

He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.

A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.

Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.

He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.

Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

About The Author

Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers. He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio. A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series. Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time. He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk. Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

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