OXFORD In the rubber match, Ole Miss scored nine runs in the first four innings on its way to a 9-6 win over Missouri Sunday afternoon at Swayze Field.
The Rebels (25-15, 9-9 SEC) used a three-run first and a five-run fourth to jump out to a 9-1 lead before holding off the Tigers (27-14, 8-10) late.
The middle of the order did most the damage for Ole Miss. Nick Fortes smacked two doubles to record a career-high three RBI, while Colby Bortles smocked a three-run homer for his team-leading sixth of the season. Will Golsan and Ryan Olenek produced multi-hit games as well. Golsan joined Tim Rowe in scoring two runs apiece.
Houston Roth (2-0) tossed a career-high three innings of relief to earn his second victory of the season. Will Ethridge finished the game, retiring all four hitters he faced to earn his first career save.
Missouri tallied 12 hits on the afternoon, including a 3-for-3 performance by shortstop Chris Cornelius. Starter Bryce Montes De Oca (3-3) lasted just 2 1/3 innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on four hits and five walks. Ole Miss also got to Michael Plassmeyer, pegging him for five runs on five hits in 1.0 inning of work.
For the fourth consecutive game, the Rebels struck first by scoring in the first inning. Tate Blackman and Golsan used patience at the plate to draw walks. Back-to-back flyouts to center field allowed Blackman to advance to third and then home for the first run of the contest.
With two outs, Fortes doubled to the right-center gap to plate Golsan before a wild pitch scored Rowe. When the dust settled, Ole Miss held a 3-0 lead after one inning of play.
In the second, Missouri looked to cut into the deficit, but a heads-up play in the outfield prevented that from happening. With two runners on and two outs, Cornelius singled to center field. The base hit was going to score the Tiger from second easily, but Olenek threw out the runner at third before he crossed the plate.
The perfect throw and smart play ended the inning with Missouri still looking for its first run. In the bottom half, an infield single by Golsan brought Cooper Johnson in from third to make it a 4-0 ballgame.