OXFORD, MS (WLBT) - Superb pitching from the Ole Miss Baseball staff and a solo shot from junior Cole Zabowski proved all that was necessary for the Rebels (13-5) Friday, as they grinded out a 1-0 win over conference foe Alabama in the opening night of SEC play at Swayze Field.
Zabowski was the only multi-hit performer for the Rebels, cranking his fourth long ball of the season and also singling in the fourth.
Friday’s win marks the first victory for Ole Miss by a 1-0 margin since March of 2017, when the Rebels prevailed over Vanderbilt.
Zabowski broke through on the second pitch of his at bat to leadoff the second, blasting a solo shot to right field.
Ole Miss pressured again in the seventh, as Johnson and Adams both singled to put two on. They each advanced on a wild pitch but both were stranded in scoring position to spoil the threat.
The Rebels continued to cling to their one-run lead, escaping unscathed from an eighth inning two-out double.
The Rebels and Crimson Tide face off again in game two of a three-game series Saturday. First pitch is slated for 1:30 p.m., with an SEC Champ poster giveaway.
- The win Friday was the first 1-0 victory for Ole Miss since March 17, 2017, when the Rebels outlasted Vanderbilt in Oxford. - Starting pitcher Will Ethridge fell one shy of his career-high, striking out nine across six innings. He has struck out 10 three times in his career, most recently against Auburn last May.
- Friday was also the third time this season he did not surrender a run, totaling 14.2 innings of unblemished baseball across four starts. He has allowed just one earned run across 19.2 total innings this season.
- The Rebels have now won three of their last four contests against the Tide, dating back to 2018 when they took 2-of-3 to secure a portion of the SEC West Title.
- Cole Zabowski’s homer was his fourth of the season and the 23rd of the season for Ole Miss, a statistic they rank in the Top 10 in the country in.
- Across his last six contests, Zabowski has registered a .455 average and a .773 slugging, with 10 hits, seven runs, and a .520 on-base percentage.