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No. 6 Ole Miss Drops Series to No. 10 South Carolina

On Friday evening at Swayze Field, No. 6 Ole Miss attacked early and scored twice in the first inning. However, the runs were not enough to stop No. 10 South Carolina as the Gamecocks (22-2, 5-0 SEC) picked up game two of the series, 9-5.

Junior Colby Bortles led the team offensively, going 3-for-4 on the night with three RBI. Bortles’ two doubles in the game brought his season total to a team-leading 11. J.B. Woodman scored both times he reached base, while Tate Blackman continued his strong season with another multi-hit night. Freshman Ray Alejo also notably added his first career RBI.

Right-handed pitcher Chad Smith (2-2) started on the mound for Ole Miss (20-4, 2-3 SEC) and tossed 4.2 innings before right-handed pitcher Brady Feigl took over. Feigl threw a career-high 3.2 innings and allowed only four hits. Smith and Feigl tallied six strikeouts apiece.

South Carolina’s freshman pitcher, Braden Webb (5-1), threw 8.0 innings and held the Rebels to three runs on four hits. At the plate, catcher Chris Cullen went 3-for-5 with two RBI to pace the Gamecocks.

For the 12th time this season, Ole Miss scored in the first inning. With Smith sending the Gamecocks down in order to start the game, Ole Miss jumped ahead 2-0. After Henri Lartigue and Woodman walked, Bortles brought both Rebels around to score by ripping a double to center field. South Carolina countered with a run in the second, and Ole Miss led 2-1 after two complete.

The Gamecocks scored two runs in both the third and fifth innings. Two RBI singles by first baseman LT Tolbert and centerfielder Dom Thompson Williams scored Marcus Mooney and Gene Cone, consecutively. With a 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth, third baseman Jonah Bride grounded out to shortstop, but designated hitter John Jones crossed the dish. Cullen later hit a double to center field to score left fielder Alex Destino and make it a three-run game.

The Gamecocks posted one run in the top of the eighth to extend the score to 6-2. After two Rebel miscues, Tolbert reached first while second baseman DC Arendas scored.

Each team scored three runs in the final frame. Woodman led off the inning with a single to right field, before Bortles ripped his second double of the game to center field for a RBI. Blackman followed with a single to left field. Pinch hitting, Alejo grounded out to shortstop, but earned his first career RBI to cut the South Carolina lead to 9-5.

After the Rebels tallied three runs, South Carolina retreated back to the bullpen to put closer Josh Reagan on the mound. Ole Miss was not able to get a hit off of the lefty, ending the game in the final 9-5 tally.

Ole Miss and South Carolina will complete the series tomorrow, March 26, at 2 p.m. SEC Network will provide the broadcast, the first of at least 10 nationally-televised games for the Rebels this season. As always, fans can also tune in on the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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