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Ole Miss Drops Series Opener To No. 19 Texas A&M

Thomas Dillard. Photo by Steven Gagliano
The Ole Miss baseball team could not overcome a hot-hitting Texas A&M team Friday night at Swayze Field. The No. 19 Aggies (35-15, 15-10 SEC) jumped out to an early lead and powered past the Rebels (29-21, 11-14 SEC) 12-5 in the series opener.
The Ole Miss offense recorded 11 hits throughout the night. Junior Will Golsan and sophomore Nick Fortes, the two Rebels with the highest batting averages heading into the game, continued to lead the team at the plate. Golsan recorded team highs in hits (3) and RBI (2) for his 18th multi-hit game of the season. Fortes produced a multi-hit game of his own with a 2-for-4 contest.
Senior Colby Bortles kept his reached base streak alive, increasing it to 16 games. The Oviedo, Florida, native reached base all four times he stepped up to the plate. Adding extra-base hits to the effort were freshmen Cooper Johnson and Thomas Dillard with doubles.
The Aggies got to Ole Miss ace James McArthur (3-5), who lasted 5.0 innings. Houston Roth and Andy Pagnozzi each contributed a pair of innings out of the bullpen.
On the flip side, the Rebels were efficient against Texas A&M’s Brigham Hill. Ole Miss tagged the Aggies’ star pitcher for four runs on eight hits while keeping him from finishing the fifth inning to get the win. Lefty Kaylor Chafin (7-1) pitched 3.2 innings of scoreless relief to earn the victory.
Logan Foster went 3-for-4 with a solo home run, while Braden Shewmake hit two homers to knock in three runs for Texas A&M. Catcher Cole Bedford contributed two hits, two runs and two RBI.
Texas A&M used three hits in its opening at-bats to plate three runs. The Rebels got one of the runs back in the bottom of the first. After Tate Blackman was robbed of a hit on a liner to shortstop, Golsan singled to center before advancing to second on a Bortles walk. Fortes knocked in his teammate with a base hit of his own. With runners on the corners, the Aggies got out the inning by forcing a double play to hold a two-run advantage, 3-1.
McArthur retired the side in the second, but Texas A&M added three more runs in the third. Shewmake hit a two-run home as part of the scoring frame to give the Aggies a five-run lead through three innings of play.
In the bottom of the fourth, three consecutive singles by Golsan, Bortles and Fortes loaded bases to start the inning. However, Hill was able to limit the Rebels to one run in the inning and keep his team ahead, 6-2.
Foster hit a home run in the fifth, but Ole Miss countered with a pair of runs to slice the deficit to three, 7-4. Cooper Johnson doubled to the alley in left-center field, and Grae Kessinger used a good piece of hitting to drop an opposite-field single into right to score his fellow freshman. Kessinger later scored from first on a double down the left field line by Golsan. Bortles followed with his second walk of the night to bring the tying run to the plate and lift Hill from the game. Once again, a double play got Texas A&M out of the jam and ended the inning.
The visitors got the two runs back by scoring once in the sixth as well as the seventh. Texas A&M added three more runs before the Rebels plated one in their final at-bats. DJ Miller drew a pinch-hit walk and advanced to third on a pinch-hit single by Kyle Watson. Golsan’s sacrifice fly to left field was deep enough to score Miller for the game’s final 12-5 tally.
Ole Miss and Texas A&M will be back in action tomorrow as the Rebels look to even the series. The Saturday evening matchup will be broadcast nationally on SEC Network with Dave Neal and Chris Burke on the call beginning at 6 p.m. Prior to the start of the contest, the Rebels will recognize seniors Colby Bortles and Sean Johnson in an on-field ceremony. The pitching matchup will feature freshman Ryan Rolison (6-2, 2.19 ERA) from Ole Miss versus Texas A&M’s Corbin Martin (5-3, 3.13 ERA).
For the latest news and updates involving Ole Miss Baseball, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissBSB, on Facebook at Ole Miss Baseball and on Instagram at olemissbsb.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

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