No. 5 Ole Miss rolls past Warhawks, 18-7, to sweep midweek set
MONROE, La. – No. 5 Ole Miss scored multiple runs in each of the first seven innings, as they cruised past ULM, 18-7, Wednesday afternoon at Warhawk Field.
Ole Miss (16-1) tallied a pair of runs in the first inning on an RBI groundout by Hayden Leatherwood and an RBI single by Tim Elko to lead 2-0. In the second inning, ULM (12-5) head coach Michael Federico was ejected while arguing a decision on a dropped pop-up in shallow right field while Ole Miss had the bases loaded and one out. A run scored on the play and the Warhawks earned a force out at second base. However, Tyler Keenan hit a three-run home run in the next at bat, his first homer of the game, to push Ole Miss’ lead to 6-0.
“We didn’t execute very well on the mound,” assistant coach Matt Collins said. “It kind of got us behind the eight-ball early. That happens sometimes. We’ve just got to minimize those innings. We didn’t do a very good job of that tonight. They just kept pounding away and plugging away when we had an 0-2 count or a 1-2 count. We left balls over the heart of the plate. Good teams capitalize on that.”
The Rebels continued their onslaught through the seventh inning. Hayden Dunhurst hit the first of his two homers with a two-run shot in the third inning. Keenan hit his second homer, a two-run blast, in the fourth. Peyton Chatagnier picked up a two-RBI single in the fifth. Kevin Graham cleared the batter’s eye in center field with a two-run homer in the sixth inning, while Dunhurst had a solo homer later in the inning. Keenan and Leatherwood each hit an RBI double in the seventh inning, while Graham added a sac fly for the final run of the game for the Rebels.
ULM picked up its first run of the game on a solo homer by Wiley Cleland in the fourth inning, his first of the season. The Warhawks added three runs in the seventh and ninth innings, as Nathan Miranda picked up three hits, including a double and three RBIs.
Miranda, who has mainly been used as a late-inning defensive substitute this season, matched a career-high with three hits and set a new career-high with three RBIs.
“That’s what we brought him in here to do, is defend,” Collins said. “He’s always been a really good defender. We’ve been working a lot of zone awareness with him and what pitches he’s able to handle. I think he’s done a really nice job of getting those pitches and laying off the pitches that we’re not looking for. He’s turned himself into a decent player and a solid offensive player for us, which is going to keep our lineup getting turned over. I think he’s done a really good job down at the bottom of the lineup. He’s just got to continue to play defense, because that’s what he’s here for. If you get hits out of him, it’s a bonus.”
The Warhawks are scheduled to open Sun Belt Conference play at 6 p.m. Friday against Arkansas State at Warhawk Field. For tickets, call 318-342-HAWK or visit ULMWarhawks.com. Links to live video, audio and stats are available at ULMWarhawks.com.
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