Much like Friday night, the starting pitchers got the better of the hitters in the early innings. The Trojans didn’t get their first base runner until a fourth-inning single from Tanner Rockwell off the Rebels’ starter Seth Smith. Justin Steelmon then drew a walk before Bryson Thionnet blasted a deep fly ball to left field but the left fielder was able to catch it up against the wall to end the Trojans’ threat.
Cameron Allen (1-1) matched Smith pitch for pitch through the first three. But a leadoff walk came back to hurt the Trojans’ right-hander when Sikes Orvis singled to right and the ball got by Mitchell Scheuler allowing the runner came around to score to make it 1-0 Ole Miss.
In the top of the fifth Scheuler legged out an infield single and was followed by Jason Prevatt with his first career hit to put Trojans on first and second with one out. Sam Vogel was then hit by a pitch to load the bases for the top of the order. Ben Crumpton’s RBI groundout to the shortstop allowed Scheuler to score and tie the game at 1-1. Austin Pfeiffer then hit a rocket right at the center fielder to end the inning.
The Rebels surged back ahead when a two-out liner just barely got over a leaping Steelmon’s glove and into right field to make it 2-1. Ole Miss plated another run on a double to left center field. Then a single to left made it 4-1 and UALR made a call to the bullpen to bring on Jesse Harbin. The sophomore reliever got a fly ball to center to end the inning.
Harbin ran into trouble is the sixth allowing the first two batters to reach before the Trojans turned to Rockwell. Rockwell struck out the first Rebel he faced before hitting the next one to load the bases with one out. The junior then walked the next batter to make the score 5-1. Ole Miss tacked on another run with a sacrifice fly to center before UALR could stop the bleeding.
In the bottom of the seventh the Rebels added to their lead when two singles led to Rockwell being replaced by Josh Merrill. The first batter Merrill faced doubled to make the score 7-1. That was followed by a fielder’s choice, wild pitch and sacrifice fly that all plated run to give Ole Miss a 10-1 lead. Dyllon Brownmiller came in and struck out the final batter of the inning to end the rally.
Allen went 4.2 innings allowing four runs, three earned, on eight hits to go with two strikeouts. Harbin got the last out of the fifth, but was changed with two runs in the sixth. Rockwell pitched 1.1 innings allowing two runs on two hits and striking out one. Merrill allowed two runs in 0.1 innings and Brownmiller struck out the only batter he faced. Ole Miss scored one run in the eighth off of Brent Mason.
The Trojans’ offense was led by Rockwell and Ryan Scott who each went 2-for-4. Prevatt went 1-for-2 with two walks while Steelmon and Scheuler added the other two hits for UALR. Crumpton had the team’s lone RBI with his groundout in the fifth.
The Trojans will be back on the diamond on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. when they host UAPB at Gary Hogan Field. It will be the first of 10 games and four straight games scheduled against in-state opponents, the Trojans travel to Arkansas State for a weekend series starting Friday at 6:00 p.m.
(Courtesy: UALR Sports Information)
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