By Adam Brown
After being named No. 1 in the nation by Baseball America, Ole Miss (3-0) continued their success on the diamond Monday.
The Rebels offense plated four runs in the sixth inning to secure an 8-1 win over No. 9 Texas (0-3) and swept the State Farm College Baseball Showdown.
The Rebels got on the scoreboard first after Peyton Chatagnier delivered a leadoff double to open the game. Chatagnier was brought home on a sac fly off the barrel of Jacob Gonzalez.
Ole Miss starter Derek Diamond (1-0) was electric on the mound, in a pitcher’s duel with the Longhorns hurler Kolby Kubicheck.
Diamond worked out of a jam in the second with runners at second and third with no outs. The sophomore right-hander bounced back with a pop-out and back-to-back strikeouts to keep Texas off the board.
Going into the home half of the fifth, Diamond had struck out eight Longhorn sluggers as he retired nine in a row. Cam Williams tied the game with a solo shot to right field.
Chatagnier delivered his second double on the day to start the sixth that answered the home run by Texas. Gonzalez got on base by a walk. Kevin Graham with an RBI base hit up the box that scored Chatagnier. Tim Elko got on aboard on a hit-by-pitch. Gonzalez scored on a sac fly by Hayden Dunhurst. Leatherwood got on base by drawing a walk. Justin Bench followed with a two-RBI base knock to center.
Chatagnier finished the day going 3-for-4 with three doubles and two runs scored.
Texas made a change on the hill in the sixth as Lucas Gordon took over for Kubicheck. Kubicheck worked 5.0 innings, allowed two runs on four hits and struck out seven. Gordon did not record an out, allowed a run on a hit and walked a batter as he faced three Rebels. Texas then called on the arm of Drew Shifflet.
Diamond tossed six innings, allowed one run on four hits while he struck out eight batters.
Coach Mike Bianco then called on the arm of Brandon Johnson who tossed 2.0 innings, only allowing one hit and struck out three Longhorn batters. Josh Malitz came into the game in the ninth to record the final three outs and fanned two batters.
Ole Miss scored three more runs started by Trey LaFleur’s solo home run. Garrett Wood followed with a walk then came home to score as Gonzalez tripled. Graham brought Gonzalez home on a groundout to first base.
Ole Miss returns to action on Wednesday as they play host to Arkansas State at Swayze. The first pitch is set for 4 p.m.