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Missouri Defeats Diamond Rebels 4-2

Sikes Orvis Photo courtesy of Josh McCoy Ole Miss Athletics
Sikes Orvis Photo courtesy of Josh McCoy Ole Miss Athletics

The Ole Miss baseball team fell 4-2 to No. 14 Missouri in a tightly contest battle Friday night, May 1, at Taylor Stadium. The Rebels (24-23, 10-12) scored the game’s first two runs, but the Tigers (27-19, 13-9) answered with four runs in innings five through seven to claim the opening game of the SEC series.

Sophomore Colby Bortles reached base for the 24th time in the past 25 games, going 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Junior Connor Cloyd increased his hit streak to eight games with an infield single, and four other Rebels added hits in the contest.

Junior Christian Trent (6-5) tossed a complete game, allowing four runs on nine hits. The southpaw struck out six Tigers without surrendering a walk as he pitched 8.0 innings for the second consecutive game.

Jake Ring and Brett Bond collected multiple hits to pace Mizzou at the plate. Reggie McClain (6-5) earned the victory by going seven innings and giving up two runs on four hits. Andrew Schwaab pitched a scoreless inning of relief, and Breckin Williams (11) got out of a ninth-inning jam to pick up the save.

The game started out as a pitcher’s duel with Trent matching McClain pitch for pitch. The first 23 batters of the game were retired before Mizzou’s Ryan Howard singled up the middle with two outs in the bottom of the fourth. However, Will Golsan fielded a sharp groundball on the next at-bat to keep the game scoreless after four innings of play.

After McClain sent down the first 12 Rebels of the game, Ole Miss produced three straight hits off the Missouri starting pitcher to score the game’s first run. Bortles led off with a single to left before Sikes Orvis doubled down the right field line to place the two Rebels in scoring position with nobody out. Errol Robinson kept the hitting streak going with a single through the left side of the infield, plating Bortles. Austin Knight added a RBI groundout to make it 2-0 in favor of Ole Miss.

Unfortunately, the lead did not last long as Mizzou countered with three hits and a pair of runs to bring the game back to a standstill, 2-2. In the next inning, the Tigers used a double, a sacrifice bunt and a single to give them their first lead of the game. Adding another run in the seventh, Missouri claimed a two-run cushion, 4-2, through seven innings.

The Rebels threatened in the top of the ninth, getting two runners in scoring position with nobody out. Golsan started the inning by fighting through a long at-bat before finding a hole for a base hit. Bortles followed with a double down the left field line to represent the tying run at second base. However, Williams was able to retire three straight Rebels to lock up the series opener.

Ole Miss will look to even the series in Game 2 tomorrow afternoon, May 2. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. CT as Brady Bramlett will get the start on the mound for the Rebels. The conference matchup will be broadcast live on SEC Network+ as well as the Ole Miss Radio Network.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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