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Ole Miss Baseball Drops SEC Opener to No. 6 Vanderbilt

Ole Miss found the going rough in its Southeastern Conference opener Thursday as the Vanderbilt Commodores had quite an offensive night and defeated the Rebels 12-2.

The teams will meet again Friday at 6 p.m. in game two of a three-game series

After Ole Miss (14-4, 0-1) got a single from Calvin Harris in the first but no runs, the Commodores had runners on first and third and no outs. But starter Jack Dougherty got a RJ Schreck to line out to first where Anthony Calarco stepped on the bag for a double play. Jack Bulger flew out to center field to end the inning.

Vandy (14-5, 1-0 SEC) got two runs in the second inning but looked like they might get more. Parker Noland sent one to left and out of the park with Chris Maldonado on board after a one-out single. Back-to-back singles put the Commodores in position for more, but Dougherty got two strikeouts by Enrique Bradfield and Davis Diaz to end the threat.

In the Rebel third, after a TJ McCants fly out to center, Ethan Lege was hit by a pitch and Jacob Gonzalez doubled down the left field line. A fly ball to center by Ethan Groff got Lege home. Harris then singled to right to get Gonzalez home. The game was tied 2-2.

After Harris stole second, Kemp Alderman got a single up the middle to put runners at the corners. Starter Carter Holton got Peyton Chatagnier to pop up to second.

Dougherty had a strong bottom of the third, and the Rebels came up empty in the top of the fourth. But the Commodores made some noise in the bottom of the inning.

Maldonado led off the Vandy fourth with a home run to deep center to make it 3-2 in favor of the home team. After Jonathan Vastine doubled, Bradfield doubled to get Vastine home for a 4-2 VU lead. Diaz reached on a single up the middle, but Bradfield came home from second base on a Rebel error and it was 5-2.

After the Rebels were scoreless in the fifth, Dougherty was back to the mound. The innings leadoff hitter, RJ Austin, reached on an error. Maldonado put runners at the corners with a single to right center. Dougherty’s night was done as Mitch Murrell came in for the Rebels.

After an out, Vandy got another run on a fly ball by Matthew Polk to center field. A groundout to second by Vastine ended the fifth with VU up 6-2.

In the sixth, Harris reached on a single down the third base line. Alderman launched one to deep left but a diving catch by Polk was the first out. Chatagnier hit into a double play to end it.

Murrell had a solid sixth, and it was on to the top of seventh to see if Ole Miss could get back in it. After a single to right by Calarco, Bryce Cunningham, a right-hander, relieved Vandy’s left-handed starter Holton, who had allowed two runs on six hits with five strikeouts and one hit batter. 

After Will Furniss, pinch hitting for Reagan Burford, flew out to center, McCants walked. But Lege hit into a double play to end the top of the seventh.

Murrell had a strong seventh and even after a fourth Rebel error in the game led off the frame, was able to make relatively quick work of the Commodores with a ground out and two strikeouts thereafter.

Harris, after a two-out single, was stranded at first base in the Rebel portion of the eighth. Vanderbilt added six runs in the bottom of the eighth to end the game.

Dougherty (2-2) got the loss, while Holton (2-0) was the winner for Vandy.

Harris led the Rebels at the plate, going 4-for-4. The Commodores had six players with multiple hits in the game.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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