Monday, May 23, 2022

Rebels Fall to ECU Despite Ninth Inning Rally

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Thomas Dillard waits on the pitch. Photo by Steven Gagliano.

The No. 13 Ole Miss baseball team rallied with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to break up a no-hitter but ultimately fell short to East Carolina 3-2 on Wednesday at Swayze.

ECU southpaw starter Jake Kuchmaner was dominant on the mound against the Rebels, throwing a no-hitter until the bottom of the ninth with two outs. Kuchmaner gave up two runs on a hit, struck out nine batters, and allowed a walk in his 8.2 innings of work.

Ole Miss (9-3) broke up a no-hitter off the bat of junior Thomas Dillard who singled to right-center field. Tyler Keenan drove home two runs as he singled to left field over the third baseman’s outstretched glove.

The Rebels had a chance to pull off the win after a wild pitch that moved Josh Hall (who pinched ran for Keenan) and Ryan Olenek to second and third respectively. Cole Zabowski drew a walk that loaded the bases for Cooper Johnson. Johnson ended the game when he popped out to the right fielder.

ECU broke up a pitching duel in the fourth inning on a three-run home run off the bat of Spencer Brickhouse to take a 3-0 lead in the game.

The Rebels’ starter Doug Nikhazy coasted through the first three innings after giving up a leadoff single to open the game. He worked a total of five innings giving up three runs on four hits and struck out seven batters.

Head Coach Mike Bianco called on the arm of Austin Miller in the top of sixth. Miller closed the door on the Pirates adding to its lead by not allowing a hit or a run in 3.0 innings. He struck out three batters and allowed a walk.

Junior Connor Green took the hill in the ninth and gave up a double in his outing with two strikeouts.

Brickhouse finished the day going 2-for-3 with a double, home run and three RBIs.

As a staff, Ole Miss only allowed five hits on the day to the Pirates offense.

Ole Miss returns to Swayze Friday night as they host UAB in a three-game series tilt. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network +.