By Adam Brown
The No. 3 ranked Ole Miss Rebels dropped their first conference game of the season to the No. 15 Florida Gators 4-1 on Thursday night.
Ole Miss’ (20-5, 6-1 SEC) Peyton Chatagnier drove in the Rebel’s lone run in the third on a sac-fly that scored Hayden Leatherwood in the third. Chatagnier finished the night going 1-for-3 with an RBI.
The Rebels starter Gunnar Hoglund (3-1)worked six-plus innings allowed three hits, two runs (one earned), gave up three walks and struck out five Gator sluggers.
“Command was not great and stuff wasn’t what it usually is tonight,” Hoglund said. “Just went out there and tried to give my team a chance to win.”
Florida took an early advantage in the first by two doubles in the frame off the bats of Jacob Young and Nathan Hickey.
Junior left fielder Kevin Graham extended his hitting streak to nine games in the fourth inning with a base knock.
The Rebels captain and first baseman Tim Elko and right fielder Hayden Leatherwood also picked up hits.
Coach Mike Bianco turned to his bullpen in the seventh, after a walk to bring in Tyler Myers. Myers worked fast by getting a strike’ em out and throw’ em out double play and a flyout to get out of the frame. Myers tossed an inning plus surrendered two runs (both earned) on two hits and one strikeout. Josh Mallitz came into pitch in the eighth and recorded two strikeouts.
In the eighth, Florida scored the final two runs of the game off of a base hit and a triple as Young came into score on RBI ground out by Hickey.
The Gators started Franco Aleman (1-1) on the mound who went four complete innings allowed a run on three hits and struck out three Ole Miss batters. Florida then turned to its ace in the fifth Tommy Mace who finished the game only allowed a hit on two walks no runs and retired seven by strikeout.
Ole Miss and Florida return to the diamond on Friday night as Doug Nikhazy will be on the mound for the Rebels. The first pitch is set for 5:30 p.m. on SECN+.