By Adam Brown
The No. 1 ranked Ole Miss Rebels came up short in game one of their series against the UCF Knights 3-2.
Ole Miss’ (4-1) ace Doug Nikhazy was electric on the mound against UCF’s Colton Gordon in a pitcher’s duel throughout the first three innings. The pitchers duel was broke in the fourth as the Rebels got on the scoreboard.
Nikhazy (0-1) only allowed one throughout the first six innings, retiring nine Knight batters.
In the seventh, UCF hit two solo home runs off the barrels of Jordan Rathbone and Josh Crouch.
Nikhazy’s night came to a close in the seventh as he worked 6.1 innings, allowed two runs (on three hits with one walk), and pitched 10 strikeouts.
Afterward, Bianco made a call to the pen and brought in Austin Miller. Miller tossed 1.2 innings, allowed one hit and walked two.
The Rebels brought in Taylor Broadway in the ninth. Broadway worked one inning, allowed one run on two hits, and struck out one batter.
The Rebels were held to one extra-base hit on the day by Justin Bench until the ninth, as sophomore Hayden Dunhurst delivered a solo home run to left. Baker managed to get on base, bringing the winning run to the plate in the form of Hayden Leatherwood.
The Rebels pitching staff retired 11 Knights by strikeouts.
Ole Miss’ loss broke a 20-game winning streak that dates back to Feb. 15 2020.
Ole Miss and UCF return to action on Saturday for a two-nine inning doubleheader. The first pitch is set for 1 p.m. with the second to follow an hour after on SEC Network +.