By Adam Brown
No. 13 Ole Miss baseball opened its SEC home series against the No. 3 Florida Gators in a doubleheader on Saturday after weather postponed Friday nights’ contest.
The Gators swept the double header over the Rebels by the scores of 9-7 and 12-8.
A total of seven home runs were hit at Swayze on Saturday as Florida hit six home runs and the Rebels had one.
Florida (20-4, 3-1 SEC) jumped out to an early 1-0 advantage in the first on a solo home run off the bat of Jac Cagliaone.
Ole Miss (15-7, 0-4 SEC) answered quickly with two runs as Ethan Groff and Calvin Harris opened the frame with a hit-by-pitch and a base knock respectively and came in to score to take a 2-1 lead.
The Rebels starter junior Jack Dougherty settled in after surrendering a home run and a double in the first and retired the next six Florida sluggers.
The Gators knotted the game at 2-2 in the fourth inning as Josh Rivera reached on a fielder’s choice and came around to score on a double by Ty Evans.
Ole Miss put up three-runs in the fourth as eight players came to the plate. Anthony Calarco led the frame off with a double, followed by a RBI double by Peyton Chatagnier and a base rip by TJ McCants. Groff and Harris brought home McCants and Ethan Lege. The Rebels led the Gators 5-3.
The Gators starter Brandon Sproat worked 5.1 innings allowed five runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.
Florida scratched for a run in the fifth as Micheal Robertson drew a leadoff walk and came in on a fielder’s choice ball by Rivera.
Coach Mike Bianco made the call to the bullpen in the fifth for Mitch Murrell.
Dougherty worked 4.2 innings surrendered three runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.
Murrell tossed 2.1 innings with no runs, no hits with three strikeouts and a walk.
Ole Miss added a run in the seventh, as Jacob Gonzalez led off with a walk and scored on a sac-fly by Calarco.
The Gators put up a four spot in the eighth after sophomore Mason Nicholas came in out of the pen. Rivera opened the frame with a solo home run. The other three runs came on a bases-clearing double by Cade Kurland.
Nicholas tossed 0.2 innings allowing four runs on four hits with a walk before turning the ball over to freshman Sam Tookoian. Tookoian recorded two outs before handing the ball to Cole Ketchum. Ketchum recorded the final out.
Caglianone opened the ninth with a solo home run to center that made it 8-6 Florida.
The Gators added another run to make it 9-6.
Ole Miss had the tying run on base in the ninth as Harris opened the inning with a base hit followed by a double down the left-field line by Gonzalez. Harris scored on an RBI groundout by Chatagnier.
In the second game, Florida (21-4, 4-1 SEC) jumped out to an early 6-0 lead through their first three at bats over Ole Miss (15-8, 0-5 SEC). The Gators got a run in the first and in the second. In the third, Florida had three extra-base hits with two home runs by Caglianone, BT Riopelle and a triple by Colby Halter. Caglianone has hit 16 home runs on the season.
The Rebels starter Grayson Saunier (1-2) worked two complete innings and allowed five runs on six hits with three strikeouts and a walk to pick up the loss.
Ole Miss got on the scoreboard in the third with five runs of their own. The Rebels got three doubles from Ethan Lege, Ethan Groff and Kemp Alderman that cut the Gators lead down to one 6-5 Florida.
Bianco brought JT Quinn out of the bullpen in the third inning. Quinn worked four innings surrendering four runs (three earned) on four hits with seven strikeouts.
Florida tacked on two runs in the fifth after a leadoff single and a triple by Riopelle.
Florida’s starter Hurston Waldrep (4-1) picked up the win after throwing five complete frames allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits with nine strikeouts and three walks.
In the sixth, the Gators got a solo home run by Wyatt Langford.
Ole Miss answered in the bottom of the frame as McCants got aboard on a walk and scored on an RBI by Groff.
In the ninth, Florida plated three more runs to take a 12-6 advantage into the Rebels final at bat of the night.
Ole Miss got a one-out double by Harris and a two-run home run by Alderman to make it 12-8.
Alderman finished the game going 3-for-5 with a home run, double and a single with three RBIs.
Ole Miss and Florida will return to the diamond on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. and can be seen on the SEC Network.