Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Ole Miss Falls to Texas A&M in Series Opener

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

No. 12 Ole Miss dropped a 9-8 walk-off to Texas A&M in the first game of the series Friday night while on the road in Blue Bell Park. The Aggie’s first baseman Will Frizzell hit the game-winner.

Ole Miss’ (32-13, 13-9 SEC) had starting pitcher Gunnar Hoglund leave the game with two outs in the bottom of the first against the Aggies.

“(Gunnar) had stiffness in his forearm and didn’t feel good,” head coach Mike Bianco said. “He mentioned it in the bullpen. Josh Porter our trainer looked at him. He said that he wasn’t feeling any pain and he felt good and wanted to go out there.”

Hoglund worked 0.2 innings, faced five batters, allowed three runs on two hits and a walk.

The Rebels jumped out to an early three-run lead after a base knock off the bat of Jacob Gonzalez followed by an RBI double by Peyton Chatagnier and Kevin Graham got aboard on an error all came into score.

Texas A&M (26-22, 6-16 SEC) matched the Rebels with three runs of their own in the home half of the first.

Ole Miss went to the bullpen and brought in Derek Diamond in the first. Diamond shut the door on the Aggies after a double in the first and a walk in the second he retired the next nine sluggers he faced.

In the fifth, the Aggies scored five runs all started by Frizzell with a two-run home run. Texas A&M sent nine men to the plate and all the runs came with two outs in the frame.

Frizzell finished the night 2-for-4 with two home runs, three runs scored and three RBI.

Diamond tossed four complete innings surrendered five runs on four hits and struck out five batters.

Ole Miss quickly responded in the sixth with four runs. Hayden Leatherwood leadoff the inning with a solo home run followed up by Cael Baker with a solo bomb.

Baker went 2-for-5 with an RBI.

“A big home run on a breaking ball after they scored five in that inning that we were able to bounce back,” Bianco said.

The Rebels were led at the dish by Leatherwood who went 3-for-5 with a run and a RBI.

Bianco called on the arm of Austin Miller in the fifth and worked 2.2 innings (his longest outing) surrendered no runs on two hits and fanned four batters.

“We need that,” Bianco said. “His best outing.”

The freshman Jack Dougherty (1-1) came into the game in the eighth and recorded the final two outs.

The Rebels and the Aggies meet again in game two on Saturday at 11 a.m. on ESPNU as Ole Miss looks to even the series.