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No. 5 Ole Miss baseball blasts ULM for 16th consecutive victory



MONROE, La. – After a close win at ULM on Tuesday, it was all Rebels on Wednesday as No. 5 Ole Miss baseball blasted the Warhawks 18-7 to extend its winning streak to 16 games, one shy of the program record.

Ole Miss scored two or more runs in each of the first seven innings. The Rebels amassed 18 runs on 18 hits, led by Tyler Keenan and Hayden Dunhurst, who each went 4-for-5 with two home runs. Tim ElkoHayden Leatherwood and Peyton Chatagnier also had multi-hit days for the Rebels, while Kevin Graham added a home run, giving Ole Miss five on the day.

Freshman left-hander Jackson Kimbrell was outstanding in his second career start, going a career-high 5.0 innings with just one run allowed on six hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Mitch Murrell made his Rebel debut and was excellent as well, tossing one scoreless inning with one hit allowed. Another freshman, Cole Baker, turned in 1.1 scoreless innings with just one walk and no hits allowed.

The Ole Miss offense went to work quickly after a Chatagnier walk and a Keenan base hit. The duo moved into scoring position on a wild pitch, and Leatherwood brought home the first run on an RBI groundout. Elko then brought home the second on a base rip through the left side to make it 2-0, Rebels.

Meanwhile, Kimbrell kept ULM off the board in the first. The freshman allowed one Warhawk infield base hit, but he came back with back-to-back strikeouts to escape the inning without worry.

The Rebels kept it going in the second after chasing Warhawk starter Nicholas Judice. Ole Miss loaded the bases with one out in the second after a Justin Bench hit-by-pitch, a Dunhurst base hit and an Anthony Servideo walk to bring right-hander Bryson Wrobel out of the bullpen. The Warhawks then dropped a shallow pop-up to bring Bench home, but they got an out at second in the process. Tyler Keenan still made it count with a monstrous home run to right field to make it 6-0.

ULM again had just one base hit in the second, a soft liner that fell safely after Elko slipped on the outfield grass coming in to make the catch. The Rebel right fielder made up for it, making a terrific over-the-shoulder grab while crashing into the wall for the last out of the inning.

Meanwhile, Ole Miss just kept adding runs. Graham led off with a walk in the third and came home on a towering home run off the bat of Dunhurst, his fourth of the season. It was more of the same in the fourth. Chatagnier started it with a leadoff double, and Keenan promptly blasted his second home run of the afternoon to make it a 10-0 Rebel lead.

The Warhawks got one run back in the bottom half of the fourth on a solo home run by Wiley Cleland, but Kimbrell worked his way out of the inning without any further damage.

Ole Miss got that run back and another in the fifth. Bench reached first with an 0-2 single through the right side and moved to third when Dunhurst drove a double to left center. Chatagnier sent them both home with a two-out single back up the middle on a 1-2 count to make it a 12-1 Rebel lead.

More home runs stretched the Rebel lead in the sixth. Leatherwood opened it up with a hot-shot single back up the middle, and Graham knocked him home with a magnificent blast over the batter’s eye in center. Dunhurst added one more with his second home run of the day to right center.

Murrell took the hill in the bottom half of the sixth to make his first career appearance and promptly struck out the first batter he saw. ULM placed a pair of runners on base with a base hit and a hit-by-pitch, but the freshman worked out of it with a pair of flyouts.

The Rebel offense kept right on producing runs in the seventh. Servideo led off with a walk and came all the way home from third on a Keenan double. Keenan then made it home on a double off the right field wall by Leatherwood. An Elko single to center brought Leatherwood to third just in time for Graham to step up and bring him across on a sacrifice fly to deep center, making it an 18-1 lead.

Greer Holston took the ball for Ole Miss in the seventh, and ULM broke through with three runs. Holston allowed three runs on three hits and three walks, getting two outs before passing it off to Cole Baker, who escaped the inning and a bases-loaded jam with just one pitch.

Baker allowed one Warhawk hit in the eighth but otherwise worked the inning without issue. Logan Savell took over in the ninth, and ULM pushed across three more runs thanks to four hits, but it was too little, too late for the home team.