No.6 Ole Miss baseball was coming off a midweek road sweep of Georgia State and had to open SEC play at home against the Tennessee Vols.
Despite plowing through the first 18 games of the season Ole Miss baseball (17-2, 0-1) knew the SEC schedule would amp up the competition level. The Rebels returned from a midweek road series sweep against Georgia State to host the Tennessee Vols (13-6, 1-0) in the SEC weekend opener. Game-one would prove to be a shootout late and the Rebels fell to the Vols 8-6.
The Rebels jumped on the board first with 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st. However, the Vols answered with 2 runs of their own in the top of the 2nd. The game stayed knotted 2-2 thru the bottom of the 6th and then Tennessee exploded for 6 runs in the top of the 7th. The Rebels answered with 4 runs in the bottom of the frame and it was a 8-6 game. Each team was held scoreless thru the last two frames which resulted in the 8-6 Vols win.
Of course, the game-one loss is just that. It’s a loss which just happened to be the SEC opener but it’s not a setback. It’s the first conference game of a three game series and a season with much more baseball to be played. This Ole Miss baseball team can certainly bounce back from the Friday night loss and take the series. However, before we jump to game-two lets look at the game-one numbers and see how it went down.
By The Numbers
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Sophomore left-hander Ryan Rolison took his regular game-one start on the mound. Rolison went 6.2 innings while allowing only 2 earned runs on 6 hits. Rolison collect 11 Ks but also gave up 3 BB. Sophomore right-hander Will Ethridge entered in relief for Rolison. Ethridge allowed 3 runs on 2 hits and gave up a BB.
Coach Mike Bianco went to the bullpen once again for red-shirt sophomore Parker Caracci. Caracci finished out the 7th and pitched the 8th. Caracci allowed no runs on 2 hits and had 1 K. Senior Will Stokes entered in the 9th and finished out the night for the Rebels on the hill. Stokes allowed no hits and had 1 K.
At the plate Ole Miss was productive on the night with 7 Rebels combining for 11 hits against some really good UT pitching. Three Rebels went for multiple hit games Friday night.
Grae Kessinger went 3 for 5 at the plate and scored 2 runs. Freshmen Tim Elko and Jacob Adams both went 2 for 3. Adams had a RBI while Elko scored a run. Junior Ryan Olenek went 1 for 3 against the Vols. Olenek had 3 RBI and scored a run. Senior Will Golsan and junior Nick Fortes both went 1 for 4 in the game. Golsan and Fortes each had a RBI. Sophomore Thomas Dillard also went 1 for 4 at the plate and scored a run.
Last night was a peculiar night for Ole Miss baseball and losing the SEC opener is never good. However, a college baseball team is susceptible to hiccups from time to time. Last night was a fluke loss for Ole Miss. This is a very strong baseball team who knows they have great pitching and a productive offense. Last night the Rebels hit well and should continue to do so thru the series. Of course, we don’t have to wait long to see the Rebels back in action.
No.6 Ole Miss baseball will face the Tennessee Volunteers in game-two of the three game series Saturday at Swayze Field in Oxford. First pitch is set for 1:30pm CT and will be televised via SEC Network+. Good luck to coach Mike Bianco and the Rebels and lets win today! Hotty Toddy!