By Adam Brown
The No. 4 Ole Miss Rebels bats remain hot after they defeated No. 3 Texas Tech 5-4 in the State Farm College Baseball Showdown Sunday.
For the first time this season, Ole Miss (2-0) trailed in the game after Texas Tech (0-2) took an early lead in the second inning off the bat of Nate Rombach with a two-run home run.
The Rebels quickly answered in the third with a five-run frame. Freshman Jacob Gonzalez got it all started as he tied the game with a two-run bomb to right. Senior Tim Elko followed with a shot to center field and then drove home by Hayden Dunhurst on an RBI single. Ben Van Cleve followed with a shot to third that brought home Dunhurst. Hayden Leatherwood brought home Van Cleve on a base knock.
“(Gonzalez) has great hands and gets good swings off,” head coach Mike Bianco said.
Ole Miss’ starter Gunnar Hoglund was electric on the mound in his first start of the season. Hoglund had a rocky second inning but bounced back and made it difficult for the Texas Tech hitters to put the ball in play. He worked 5.1 innings allowed three runs on three hits (two home runs) with 11 strikeouts and allowed two walks.
“I started the game off thinking I had command of all of my pitches,” Hoglund said. “The second inning I did not have command of my slider. After the offense put up those runs (in the third) I was just focused on shutting out that side of the inning.”
“(Hoglund) was terrific against a really good offense,” Bianco said. “Probably not his best stuff day, but a great command of his fastball. After the first inning, his slider was nonexistent. He really located the fastball well. Proud of him. We needed that kind of effort today.”
The Red Raiders starter Mich Dallas (0-1) worked 2.2 innings allowed five runs on three hits. He struck out two and walked two batters.
Texas Tech scratched across a run on a home run by Dylan Neuse in the sixth inning.
Bianco made the call to the bullpen in the sixth after Neuse’s home run and called on the arm of Austin Miller. Miller worked an 1.2 innings allowed a hit and struck out two.
In the eighth, Max Cioffi took over on the hill. Cioffi worked 1.2 innings with one hit, two strikeouts and allowed only four walks. Freshman Luke Baker took over and gave up a base knock. Ole Miss called on the arm of Braden Forsyth to close the game out.
In the ninth the Red Raiders put pressure on the Rebels as they cut the game to a one-run.
Ole Miss has now won 18 in a row dating back to last season.
Ole Miss returns to the diamond on Monday at 2:30 p.m. as they face No. 9 Texas. The Rebels will have Dallas Diamond versus Kolby Kubichek.