The Ole Miss bats came alive in a 15-5 bludgeoning of Arkansas State on Wednesday. Arkansas State ran through six pitchers in the effort and only recorded twelve outs. The run rule was supposed to kick in after 6.5 innings, but with the rain making an appearance and causing a delay, both head coaches agreed that 4.5 innings would suffice.
The Oregon State transfer Jack Washburn drew the start today. After a weird 1st inning which started with a walk, base hit, error, hit batsman, and sac fly, Washburn started to settle into a groove. Including the sac fly, he retired nine out of ten batters he faced before the wheels started to fall back off. Washburn’s day was over after he walked the first two batters he faced in the 4th inning with a final line of 3+ IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 4 BB, 4 K, and the win.
Unfortunately for Arkansas State, their Catcher was hit in the head while trying to duck out of the way of a breaking ball in the 1st inning. In the bottom of the 1st it became apparent that he could not continue, but their backup Catcher started the game in the DH spot. By moving the DH into the field, the Red Wolves forfeited their DH privilege in the lineup and had to bat with a slight handicap the rest of the way.
Dylan DeLucia took over on the mound with two runners on and nobody out. After running into some trouble over the weekend, he had a big bounceback performance. He recorded three straight strikeouts to silence the Red Wolves and keep the score at 5-2 Rebs. Unfortunately, he lost his stuff in his second inning of labor. He allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks in the 5th while only recording 2 outs.
In came Cole Baker with the rain pouring down. The Rebs needed just one out to make the game official and he got it. With the bases loaded, Baker picked up a K in his season debut. The bullpen woes of 2021 have been addressed by the clutch performances of the newcomers and the inexperienced.
Reagan Burford had a great day at the plate. He was 2-3 with a double and a stolen base in the shortened game. He is a bright spot for the future of the Ole Miss program. Calvin Harris also had a nice day as he went 2-2 with 3 runs, 1 RBI, 1 walk, and 1 stolen base. Neither of them, however, were the headliners in the 15 run, 12 hit, 4 offensive inning show.
Kevin Graham was the star today. KG was 3-4 and just a triple away from the cycle. He had 7 RBI, 1 double, and 1 home run. Most players would consider this a great weekend; Graham considers it a good half of a game. It is a shame that his on-base streak was broken up on Saturday, but that might have been the fire he needed to start lighting up the stat sheets again.
The 4-0 Rebels will be hosting VCU this weekend beginning on Friday at 4 PM. The Rams are 2-2 but have not faced off against any high caliber opponents thus far. Ole Miss will be the favorite to dominate this weekend and possibly start the season off 7-0. This offense is nearly impossible to contain. Pair that with the clutch pitching out of the bullpen, and Ole Miss is turning into an early favorite to reach Omaha.