By Adam Brown
Ole Miss opened the series against the Georgia Bulldogs with a 7-3 victory on Friday night.
Ole Miss (22-20, 4-15 SEC) had a three-run eight to open the game against the Bulldogs.
Georgia (23-19, 7-12 SEC) jumped on the scoreboard first in the second as they loaded the bases with one out. The Bulldogs scored their first run on a base knock by Mason LaPlante and a fielder’s choice by Ben Anderson.
The Bulldogs starter Kolten Smith kept Ole Miss off the bases with a hit through the first two frames.
Ole Miss answered in the third with two runs that tied the game. The Rebels opened the frame with back-to-back walks to TJ McCants and Peyton Chatagnier. Two batters later Ethan Lege delivered the first Ole Miss run and hit.
Smith worked three innings and allowed two runs on a hit with a strikeout and four walks.
Georgia turned to the bullpen in the fourth and gave the ball to Luke Wagner.
In the fourth, Ethan Groff delivered a one out double and scored on a base knock by Will Furniss.
Wagner worked four complete frames and allowed five runs on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
The Rebels starter Xavier Rivas surrendered two runs in the second and cruised into the fifth. Rivas worked 4.0 complete innings allowed two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and four walks.
Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco made the call to the bullpen in the fifth for Brayden Jones who entered with runners at first and second. Jones got out of the jam. He tossed a frame and worked into the sixth and allowed a run on two hits.
The Bulldogs knotted the game as Will David led the sixth off with a hit and a double by Frenando Gonzalez.
Mitch Murrell worked a frame with two walks before turning the ball over to Mason Nicholas. Nicholas pitched the seventh by striking out two sluggers and a walk.
In the seventh, Chatagnier regained the lead for the Rebels on a solo home run to center field.
Georgia went to Dalton Rhadans in the eighth. Rhadans allowed a hit with a strikeout and walk.
Jack Dougherty took the mound in the eighth and closed out the game. Dougherty worked two innings and struck out five of the eight sluggers faced.
Ole Miss tacked on three runs in the eighth to secure the series opener victory over the Bulldogs. The Rebels loaded the bases and a double by Furniss. Chatagnier brought in the seventh run of the game,
Chatagnier finished the game going 1-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs.
The Rebels pitching staff retired 14 by strikeout on the night.
Ole Miss and Georgia return to action on Saturday for game two of the series at noon.