Alabama Downs Ole Miss 4-1 at The Joe
In front of 2,904 fans at a very wet Sewell-Thomas Stadium, the Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Ole Miss Rebels 4-1 to take game one of the three-game series and improve to .500 in conference play.
Luke Holman got the start on the mound Thursday after the game time was moved up from 6 p.m. to 4p.m. and delayed again to 5:52 p.m. Holman completed 6.2 innings and threw 103 pitches, resulting in five strikeouts, four hits, one run, and an ERA of 3.53.
Overall, the Tide's strength on the defensive side was fielding more than pitching. Holman's night was good, but not spectacular. Consistently throughout the evening, his fielders backed him up with solid to spectacular play. Jim Jarvis, as he does so often, delivered a stellar game at short stop, as did Tommy Seidl in left field.
Most of the Tide's scoring came in the front half of the game. Ole Miss starting pitcher Xavier Rivas walked a handful of batters and gave up some hits in the first inning to load the bases up quickly. The Tide took advantage of the situation and put two runs on the board quickly.
In the third inning, Andrew Pinckney continued his hot streak with a solo shot that went straight over the left field wall.
After the Tide built up the quick 3-0 lead, Rivas tightened up substantially. He finished his outing with 12 strikeouts in seven innings pitched and an era of 6.35.
After the game, interim head coach Jason Jackson said he was happy to start the series on the right foot, and especially happy with how deep into the game Holman was able to play well.
"That's what you need on a game one of a series," said Jackson. "You want your guy to go deep in the game and save some bullpen. Luke does a great job. He's thrown game one of the series for us the whole back half of this year it seems like and he does a great job of going deep into the game. He pounds that strike zone and gets that secondary stuff going."
"I thought there were some stretches right there in the later innings where he was starting to really get dialed in and starting to get the feel for the breaking ball going," said Jackson. "He mixed in a split tonight. He's kinda had that pitch for a while and he's been wanting to throw it a little bit more. He mixed it in a little bit more tonight and he got some mileage out of it."
The series between the reigning national champions and the Tide continues Friday at The Joe at 6 p.m.