By Adam Brown
No. 5 Ole Miss baseball opened the 2022 season with a 9-3 win over Charleston Southern on Friday.
Ole Miss’ (1-0) starter Derek Diamond was unblemished on the mound through the first three frames. In the first three innings on the bump struck out six-of-nine batters.
“It felt good opening day getting the nod,” Derek Diamond said. “Definitely some juice coming out. Not my best but some room to improve we got the win.”
The Rebels offense got going in the second as they tacked on three runs to go up 4-0.
Ole Miss added two runs in the third and four innings to go up 8-0. In the third, Tim Elko scored after a leadoff walk and TJ McCants scored after getting aboard on a base knock. In the fourth inning, Justin Bench and Jacob Gonzalez came across to score.
McCants finished the game going 2-for-3 with a couple of base knocks and two runs scored.
The Buccaneers got to Diamond in the fourth inning as they were able to scratch across two runs.
Diamond (1-0) worked five complete innings allowed two runs on two hits, struck out eight and walked two in the outing.
“(Diamond) was good, especially early,” coach Mike Bianco said. “I know he is disappointed that he gave up a couple of runs in the (fourth).
In the sixth inning, Bianco made a call to the bullpen and brought right-hander Jack Washburn in for a frame. Washburn struck out a batter and walked a guy.
“Good I know he bumped it at least to 92 (mph) with a good breaking ball today,” Bianco said. “We wanted to at least get him one inning.”
The Rebels captain Elko hit his first home run of the season in the sixth inning that capped off Ole Miss’ nine runs in the game.
Ole Miss also had Mitch Murrell and Mason Nichols came into close out the game on the mound. Murrell worked two innings and allowed a solo home run and Nichols tossed the ninth.
Ole Miss and Charleston Southern return to the diamond on Saturday for game two of the series. The first pitch is set for 1:30 p.m. and can be seen on SEC Network+.