NMCC's Jordan Kimball earns his first career victory
OXFORD, Miss. -- The Arkansas State baseball team came out swinging, scoring in the each of the first four innings to jump out to a 6-0 lead and knock off the second-ranked Ole Miss Rebels 7-5 Wednesday night at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
The Indians handed the Rebels their first loss of the season, dropping Ole Miss to 9-1, while the Tribe improved to 5-4.
"This was a win we are very proud of and hopefully one we can build off of," said ASU Head Coach Keith Kessinger. "I am very pleased with all of our pitchers -- they competed and kept us in the ballgame, and offensively it was the best we have swung the bat all year. We beat a quality team tonight."
Arkansas State started off the top of the first with three consecutives hits off Rebel starter Phillip Irwin. Junior Derrick Coleman singled to left, then scored on freshman Todd Baumgartner's double to right-center field. Senior Ryan Hudgins knocked a single up the middle, junior Brandon Eller reached on a fielder's choice and freshman Drew Benes singled. Junior Guy Brown reached on a fielder's choice, advancing Eller and Benes. Both runners came around to score on freshman Murray Watts' single up the middle. The Indians racked up three runs on five hits in the top of the first inning alone.
Sophomore Jordan Kimball got the start on the mound for the Tribe, retiring the first three Rebel batters, giving ASU the chance to tack on two more runs in the second.
Baumgartner reached first on a throwing error by third baseman Cody Overbeck, stole second and scored on Hudgins' second single of the night. Hudgins put the Tribe up 5-0 when he scored on Eller's single to right field.
Kimball denied Ole Miss the chance to score again in the bottom of the second.
Brown crushed a double down the left-field line and scored on junior Lawson Hipps' sacrifice fly to give Arkansas State a six-run lead in the third.
The Rebels found an answer to the Indian offense in the bottom of the third. Kimball walked Jordan Henry and Michael Hubbard, then gave up the first hit of the game, an infield single from Overbeck to load the bases. Kimball struck out Matt Smith, but gave up a grand slam to Logan Power, as Ole Miss cut the Indians lead to 6-4.
The Tribe increased their lead by three in the top of the fourth. Coleman reached first on an error and advanced to second on a throwing error by relief pitcher Jake Morgan. Coleman reached third on a sac bunt by Baumgartner and scored on Hudgins' third single.
Neither team was able to score until Ole Miss added a run in the bottom of the seventh.
Overbeck reached first on a fielder's choice and crossed home on Smith's double to right center to make it a 7-5 game.
The Indians held off the Rebels, retiring the next seven batters to get the win.
Hudgins went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, one run and a stolen base for the Tribe. Baumgartner was 2-for-4 with an RBI, one run and a stolen base, while Eller added one hit, one RBI and a run. Coleman had one hit and two runs and Benes and Brown added one hit and one run each. Watts recorded one hit and two RBIs for the night.
Kimball (1-0) got the win on the mound for the Tribe, giving up four runs on three hits with four strikeouts in three innings.
Story by asuindians.com