By Adam Brown
Ole Miss eliminated the Georgia Bulldogs form the SEC Baseball Tournament by a score of 4-0 on Thursday.
“Just proud of the way we showed up today. Tough loss for us last night, obviously, and then getting back to the hotel late. But you’ve got to do it in tournaments,” head coach Mike Bianco said. “That’s kind of the message for the team this morning. We showed up and played really hard.”
The Rebels starter Drew McDaniel continued the dominance on the mound from the past two days — preceded by Doug Nikhazy and Derek Diamond. McDaniel set a new career-high with 11 strikeouts.
“The story of the game was Drew McDaniel — just super dominant — and of course Brandon Johnson after him. And (Taylor) Broadway is just as good as they come at the end of the game,” Bianco said.
McDaniel made quick work of the Bulldog sluggers at the plate in the first three innings. He only allowed a hit and four base runners.
Ole Miss’s (40-18) offense got going in the second inning with left fielder Kevin Graham.
“Some big hits, obviously. Gonzalez had a couple. A couple of big hits by Chatagnier, and a big homer by Graham, but not a ton of offensive. Georgia can really pitch it,” Bianco said. “Today we saw their No. 2 and their No. 3, but scored just enough and pitched it really well.”
In the third, John Rhys Plumlee belted a double to left field and later crossed the plate on a Jacob Gonzalez single.
Ole Miss was not done tacking on runs against the Bulldogs in the fifth. Justin Bench got his 25th hit by pitch and Gonzalez followed with a base hit. Both crossed the plate on a hit off the bat of Peyton Chatagnier.
McDaniel worked 6.2 scoreless innings and allowed three hits while retiring 11 sluggers by strikeout and three walks.
In the seventh, Bianco made a call to the bullpen for Brandon Johnson in relief. Johnson tossed 1.1 scoreless innings with no hits and a strikeout.
The Rebels closer Taylor Broadway came into the game in the ninth to close the door on Georgia. Broadway worked an inning and allowed a hit with two strikeouts.
Gonzalez finished the day going at the dish with 2-for-4, with a run and an RBI.
Ole Miss moves on to a game on Friday to face the loser of Arkansas and Vanderbilt. The first pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network.