Thursday, April 23, 2009

Button's Offense Leads Rebels Over Eagles

Evan Button had a big night for the Rebels, going 5-for-5 at the plate with two RBI and a run scored to help the offense lead No. 11 Ole Miss (30-11) to a win over Southern Miss (25-15) by a score of 8-4 on Wednesday at Pete Taylor Park.

It marks the first win in Hattiesburg for the Rebels since the 2001 season.

Button led the Rebels, who had 17 hits on the night. Six Ole Miss players posted multiple hits, including a 3-for-4 performance from Kyle Henson and a 2-for-3 performance from Kevin Mort. The bottom of the order came up with 10 hits, four RBI and five runs.

Rory McKean (5-1) picked up the win in relief for the Rebels as the junior entered in the fifth and worked 2.0 innings as he held Southern Miss to two runs - one earned - on four hits with a walk and a strikeout. David Goforth picked up his third save of the season as he worked the final 3 innings and held the Golden Eagles hitless while walking one and striking out five.

Seth Hester (2-2) suffered the loss for the Golden Eagles as he worked 2.0 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Southern Miss would go on to use six pitchers in the game.

“The bottom of the order did great for us tonight,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “Evan Button had a great night and it was nice to see that out of him. Kevin Mort continued to be Mr. Consistency and Kyle Henson had a great night as well.

“Our pitchers did a good job tonight as well, and David Goforth was tremendous at the end. He is super talented and just so athletic.”

Ole Miss got on the board in the second when Kyle Henson came up with an RBI double down the left field line to score Zach Miller. Miller singled before stealing second to get into scoring position for the Henson hit. Mort then singled to short, allowing Henson to move to third before Evan Button came up with an RBI single to score Henson and give the Rebels a 2-0 lead.

The Rebels added to the lead in the third inning when Matt Smith singled up the middle and drove in two more runs as Logan Power and Matt Snyder scored on the play. Power walked before moving to third on a double from Snyder.

Southern Miss rallied in the fifth as the Golden Eagles finally got to Bukvich and broke up the no-hitter. James Ewing drew a walk before moving to second on a single from Josh Fields. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch before scoring on a double to right center from Corey Stevens. A single from Joey Archer put runners at second and third and sent the Rebels to the bullpen for Rory McKean.

McKean walked B.A. Vollmuth to load the bases before getting Travis Graves to ground into a double play at third as the Rebels got the lead runner at home and Graves at first. Taylor W.lker then flew out to right field to end the inning with Ole Miss up 5-2.

Ole Miss extended the lead again in the seventh when Smith scored from first on a double to the wall in centerfield from Miller. Smith singled to open the inning and get on base for Miller’s hit. Two batters later, Henson singled then scored from first on a double to left center from Kevin Mort to give the Rebels a 7-2 lead and send Southern Miss to the bullpen for Collin Cargill.

Evan Button then tripled off the wall in left to score Mort as Ole Miss took an 8-2 lead.

Southern Miss answered in the bottom of the frame as three straight singles pushed a run across and left runners at second and third with no outs on the board. The Rebels then turned to the bullpen for David Goforth. Goforth got the next three batters out with a strikeout, groundout and fly out - but a run scored on the groundout as Southern Miss cut the lead to 8-4.

The Golden Eagles would get no closer as Goforth held the home team in check down the stretch to preserve the win for the Rebels.

Ole Miss will return to action this weekend as the Rebels host No. 1 Georgia in a three-game series at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field. First pitch on Friday night is set for 6:30 p.m. as Ole Miss will kick off a celebration of the newly renovated stadium and host a fireworks show immediately following the game.

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