Rebels remain perfect; Troy tops Southern Miss

Published 12:01 am Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ole Miss hit the road for the first time this season, but remembered to pack its usual bag of tricks.

Tanner Mathis and Alex Yarbrough drove in two runs apiece, and Blake Newalu went 3-for-4 with a run scored as Ole Miss beat Houston 4-2 in the opener of a three-game series.

It was the sixth consecutive win to start the season for Ole Miss. The last four victories have all been by either one or two runs.

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Matt Crouse held Houston to two runs on six hits over seven solid innings. He struck out eight and walked one. Brett Huber allowed only one hit in two innings of relief to pick up his second save of the season.

The Rebels scored in each of the first two innings to take a 2-0 lead, then added another in the fourth. Yarbrough had an RBI double in the first inning and an RBI single in the seventh, while Mathis had a sacrifice fly in the second inning and an RBI fielder’s choice in the fourth.

Houston (4-2) got within a run by scoring twice in the sixth. Chase Jensen singled and Caleb Ramsey followed with a bases-loaded walk. Crouse got out of the jam, though, and the Rebels were able to hang on in the later innings.

“It all starts on the mound on Friday night, and it’s hard to expect more from Matt Crouse than what he gave us tonight,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “A lot will be said of the jam he pitched his way out of in the sixth, but we put him in that jam. He kept battling and got out of it with the strikeout and the double play. Then Huber was just great out of the bullpen.”

Game two of the three-game series is scheduled for tonight at 7 p.m.

Troy 4, Southern Miss 3

Tyler Ray allowed three runs in 7 1/3 innings, and Troy made an early lead stand up to beat Southern Miss.

Troy scored in each of the first three innings to take a 4-0 lead on the Golden Eagles. T.J. Rivera doubled and scored a run and Adam Bryant tripled in a run for Troy (5-0), which knocked USM ace Todd McInnis out of the game after three innings.

Southern Miss (5-1) rallied behind solo homers from B.A. Vollmuth and Mark Ellis, but left runners on second and third in the eighth inning.

LSU 12, Holy Cross 3

Trey Watkins homered, Austin Nola went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, Raph Rhymes drove in four runs and LSU opened a weekend series with a rout of Holy Cross (0-1).

The Tigers (5-0) scored three runs in the fourth inning, three more in the fifth and four in the sixth to blow the game open. Nola came through with a two-out, two-run single in the fourth, Raph Rhymes knocked in three runs with a bases-clearing double in the fifth, and Watkins had a two-run double in the sixth.

Kevin Gausman pitched six innings to earn the win for LSU. He gave up three runs, walked three and struck out seven. Andrew Barry hit a two-run homer for Holy Cross.

SLU 6, Alabama 2

Jonathan Pace went 3-for-5, Cass Hargis hit a pair of doubles and drove in two runs, and Southeastern Louisiana earned the first victory over Alabama in school history.

SLU (4-1) hammered the Crimson Tide’s pitchers for 15 hits. Alabama starter Adam Morgan was knocked out after allowing three runs on eight hits in only 3 2/3 innings.

Taylor Dugas went 2-for-4 with a double and a triple for Alabama (4-1).