Friday, March 31, 2023

Ole Miss Takes Series Opener Against No. 2 Vanderbilt

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

No. 18 Ole Miss took game one of the series from the No. 2 Vanderbilt Commodores on Friday night 3-1.

Junior Doug Nikhazy was electric on the mound against the Commodores in the first game of the series. He matched Vanderbilt’s ace Kumar Rocker in a low scoring contest between two talented arms on the bump.

The Rebels south paw Nikhazy allowed three runners in the first two innings on two base knocks and a walk.

Ole Miss (35-10, 15-10 SEC) used the long ball against the Commodores hurler Rocker as TJ McCants and Kevin Graham sent the ball flying out into the student section in right field.

McCants (5) with a two-run shot in the second inning that scored Justin Bench who got on by a hit by pitch. He finished the game going 2-for-3 with a run and two RBI.

In the third, Graham blasted a 417-foot home run into the student section in the right field in the third. It was the second home run that Rocker.

Nikhazy cruised through the first six frames, only allowing four hits with nine strikeouts that kept the Commodores bats at bay. 

The Commodores got on the board in the seventh, on a leadoff solo home run off the bat of Isaiah Thomas.

Nikhazy (7-2) worked seven complete innings surrendered a run on five hits allowed two walks to go along with 10 strikeouts to pick up the victory.

Bianco brought the Rebels closer Taylor Broadway into the game into the eighth, to close the door on Vanderbilt. Broadway came in and the six-out save (10) against the Commodores. He didn’t surrender a run, allowed a hit and struck out two batters.

The two teams return to the diamond tomorrow at 4 p.m. on SEC Network+.