The Missouri Tigers (26-19, 6-16 SEC) scored nine unanswered runs and erased a seven-run deficit as the Ole Miss Rebels (24-22, 5-17 SEC) dropped the first game of a three-game series in Columbia.
The Rebels slugged three home runs and struck out 13 Tigers but surrendered five home runs on a windy night at Taylor Stadium. Kemp Alderman, Jacob Gonzalez, and TJ McCants each hit a long ball as McCants drove in three runs and Calvin Harris scored three times.
Xavier Rivas drew the Friday night start on the mound for the Rebels and allowed just two hits through his first three innings. He also recorded six of his first nine outs via the strikeout.
Offensively, Ole Miss had just one hit through the first three innings but was able to break through in a big way in the fourth.
Calvin Harris drew a walk to open the inning and sparked a five-run rally for the Rebels. The next three pitches from Missouri’s Chandler Murphy all turned into Rebel hits as Alderman hit a 466-foot home run to straight-away center field to make it 2-0 Ole Miss. Will Furniss and Ethan Groff each hit singles and after John Kramer reached on a fielder’s choice, McCants hit a three-RBI shot over the left field fence. When the dust settled, Ole Miss scored five runs on four hits and held a five-run lead in a SEC game for the first time since April 1.
Missouri answered in the bottom of the fourth inning with a two-RBI home run of their own that bounced off the top of the wall in left field to make it 5-2.
The Rebels hung another crooked number in the fifth inning after loading the bases with one out. Ethan Groff hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Harris from third and John Kramer hit an infield single that led to a throwing error and another run for Ole Miss.
Gonzalez hit his ninth home run of the season in the sixth inning, a solo home run to right center to make it 8-2 Rebels. Ole Miss would add one more run after Harris tripled down the right field line and then scored on a balk called on the Tigers’ catcher for not chasing down a wild pitch.
Rivas continued to grind sitting down five-consecutive Tigers until he gave up a solo home run to Luke Mann to open the sixth inning. That home run would end up igniting a six-run sixth for the Tigers that cut the Rebel lead to just one run. They hit two home runs, a triple, and drew two walks in the inning. Rivas would be charged with two of the six runs giving him a final line of 5.1 innings, four earned runs, and eight strikeouts.
After Riley Maddox failed to get an out, Mason Nichols came out of the bullpen and struck out the final two batters of the inning to stop the bleeding and keep Ole Miss in the lead.
Nichols would end up striking out five of the six batters he faced but gave up a game-tying solo home run to Mann in the bottom of the seventh.
Missouri hit their fourth home run in three innings in the bottom of the eighth as Matt Garcia sent a two-RBI shot over the left field wall off Jack Dougherty. The blast would prove to be the game-winner as the Rebels went down in order in the bottom of the ninth.
The Tigers and the Rebels will play game two tomorrow night at 6 p.m.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports