SuperTalk Mississippi

Rebels advance to SEC Tournament final

Ryan Olenek. Photo courtesy of Telesouth Communications Inc.

For the 5th time in school history and for the first time since 2008, Ole Miss is headed to the SEC Tournament Championship after taking down Texas A&M 2-1 in today’s semifinal matchup in Hoover.

After avenging a loss to Auburn from game one of the tournament by taking down the Tigers 7-0 last night, the Rebel pitching staff once again kept the opposing offense down as Jordan Fowler took the mound. Fowler has been the mid-week starter for the Rebels all season long, and this was the first SEC opponent he has faced. With the pressure on against the Aggies, Fowler (7-0) shined by tossing 6 innings of shutout baseball.

“I was just going out there with confidence and belief that I was going to trust myself and do what I do,” Fowler said on the SEC Network set after the game.

The game was turned over to the bullpen in the 7th, and the Aggies were able to pick up their lone run of the game off of Will Ethridge in the 8th. Later in the inning, the Aggies were able to load the bases, but Ethridge was able to get out of the jam with a strikeout. With a 2-2 count, a questionable call from the umpire moved it to a 3-2 count, but Ethridge was able to get a swing and miss to end the inning.

The Rebel offense picked up both of their runs in the 4th inning after Nick Fotres led things off with a single. Thomas Dillard followed with a double, and Cole Zabowski drove in Fortes on a  fielder’s choice. Ole Miss was able to scratch across the second run on a Will Golsan base hit that scored Dillard.

Ole Miss finished the game with 10 hits, however, they left several runners on base the rest of the way, but the Aggies couldn’t take advantage and make them pay. In a game where runs were hard to come by, Ryan Olenek, playing 3rd base today, had one of the game’s biggest plays. Olenek could’ve gotten a force out at first, but instead threw home and saved a run in the 2nd inning.

After the game, head coach Mike Bianco discussed all of the different factors that led to the Rebels coming out on top in this one.

If the Rebels pitching dominance can continue, they’ll put themselves in prime position to win against whichever team they face tomorrow, but the offense may need to scratch across a few more runs in the process.

The Rebels will take on the winner of the LSU/Arkansas matchup in tomorrow’s championship game at 3:00 p.m.

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