Ole Miss defeats Memphis
By By Kyle Veazey / staff writer
April 10, 2002
OXFORD Memphis might have thought it had something going in the first inning here Tuesday night when its leadoff hitter reached base and later scored.
Eight and a half innings and seven Ole Miss runs later, the Rebels showed Memphis exactly why they've won 11 straight games.
And why they're ranked as high as ninth in one college baseball poll.
And why they've got an impressive 26-7 record.
Ole Miss beat the Tigers 7-1 before an announced crowd of 1,603 at Swayze Field Tuesday night, tying the game in the second before breaking it open with three runs each in the fifth and sixth innings.
Freshman sensation Seth Smith went two-for-four and drove in three of the Rebels seven runs with singles in the fifth and sixth. Smith's success on the diamond this season, he also doubles as a backup quarterback for the football Rebels, has gone beyond almost anyone's expectations.
Indeed, Smith stands to have one of the most successful seasons ever for a freshman wearing the Rebel uniform. His team-best .430 batting average is 100 points above the .325 set by Robert Shelton in 1998, and he also is on pace to break freshman records in hits, home runs, runs batted in, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.
Ole Miss (26-7, 8-4 SEC) is in the midst of an 11-game winning streak, its longest since 1964. The last time the Rebels lost was a 6-5 decision to LSU March 23.
Mike Gray (2-0) worked five innings to notch the victory Tuesday night, giving up one run, six hits, walking two and striking out five. Nick Bradshaw, Nathan Lyons and Josh Grant combined to throw the remaining four innings, yielding only two hits.
Nick Steht (0-3) was pinned with the loss for Memphis (11-17).
Memphis took its early 1-0 lead after Brent Dlugach doubled in Paul Cookman with two outs in the first.
The Rebels' Josh Christian, a former Meridian Community College standout, scored off a double from Charlie Waite in the second to tie the game.
Ole Miss then blew it wide open, beginning in the fifth inning. After Burney Hutchinson singled, stole second and reached third on a passed ball, Smith drove him home with a single. Smith later scored off a throwing error, while Bryce Morrison, who reached on a single, was scored on a Jonathan Swearingen single.
Leading 4-1 going into the bottom of the sixth, the Rebels added some insurance. Waites walk and Clint Farrars single set the table for Smith, who drove them both in on a single to right field. Hutchinson, who reached on a single, later scored on a Morrison single.
Smith and his teammates will get a chance to extend their win streak tonight, as Murray State visits Oxford for a scheduled 6:30 first pitch.