Coach Mike Bianco and No.17 Ole Miss baseball were back in action Thursday night as the Rebels hosted the No.6 Texas A&M Aggies.
No.17 Ole Miss baseball (28-15, 11-8) entered the Thursday night matchup against No.6 Texas A&M (30-13-1, 11-7-1) needing to get back on track. Coming off a midweek loss to Miss State and two consecutive SEC series losses to Kentucky and Auburn the Rebels were looking to get back into the win column and end a two-game losing streak. The Rebels found the game-one win but the Aggies didn’t make it easy.
After three scoreless innings the Aggies struck first with 1 run in the top of the third to take the early 1-0 lead. Texas A&M extended the lead to 3-0 with 2 runs in the top of the fourth. After a scoreless sixth frame the Rebels the lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh. The Rebels struck again with 2 runs in the bottom of the eighth to make it a 3-3 game.
After a scoreless ninth the Rebels saw extra innings. After a scoreless tenth the Aggies took a 4-3 lead in the top of the eleventh. In the bottom of the frame with the bases loaded junior Thomas Dillard iced game-one for the Rebels with a 2-run walk-off single to pick up the 5-4 game one win over the Aggies. OHT looks at the game by the numbers with some observations.
By The Numbers
Ole Miss Rebels
In the game-one win over the Aggies there were 5 Rebels who combined for 8 hits with 3 Rebels recording multiple hit games. Leading all Rebels at the plate were juniors Thomas Dillard and Grae Kessinger who both went 2 for 4. Dillard had 2 RBI.
Senior Ryan Olenek went 2 for 6 while senior PH Michael Fitsimmons went 1 for 1 at the plate. Junior Cooper Johnson went 1 for 4 in the game while freshman Kevin Graham had 1 RBI.
On the mound expected game-one starter junior right-hander Will Ethridge went for 8.0 innings allowing 3 earned runs on 6 hits with 7 Ks and 1 BB. Ethridge also had 3 HBP.
Redshirt sophomore right-hand close Parker Caracci entered in the ninth and went for 3.0 innings allowing 1 earned run. Caracci had 5 Ks, 1 BB and 1 WP. Caracci (2-2) picked up the win in the contest.
Despite the Rebels batting order getting just 8 hits in the game the Rebels prevailed. This game was classic proof of what a great starting pitcher can do. Will Ethridge and Parker Caracci were a very good one-two punch for the SEC series opener.
At the plate the Rebels forced 9 walks and had 11 strikeouts. They also had 11 Rebels stranded on base. The batting order may be in a significant slump since the Florida sweep but pitching saved the Rebels Thursday night. It’s very difficult to win ballgames when you have squandered opportunities.
Coach Mike Bianco and No.17 Ole Miss baseball will be back in action Friday night as the Rebels host No.6 Texas A&M in game-two. First pitch from Swayze Field is set for 6:30 pm and the game will be televised via SECN+. Good luck to coach Mike Bianco and the Rebels. Hotty Toddy!