Ole Miss Athletics- In the regular-season finale, No. 11 Ole Miss baseball dug itself into a hole early and simply couldn’t climb out at Foley Field. Meanwhile, the Georgia Bulldogs cashed in on numerous opportunities to come away with a dominant 13-2 victory to avoid the sweep.
Drew McDaniel (L, 4-1) suffered his first loss this season, giving up six hits and five runs in three innings of work. Austin Miller and Jack Dougherty combined for three innings out of the bullpen while giving up a combined seven hits and five runs, with Dougherty recording a team-high five strikeouts. Cody Adcock, Braden Forsyth and Cole Baker each made an appearance out of the bullpen as well working against a Georgia offense that exploded for 17 hits Saturday afternoon.
Offensively, Justin Bench got hit twice by pitch while finishing 1-for-2 at the plate. That hit eventually resulted in Ole Miss’ first and only lead of the afternoon. Peyton Chatagnier also recorded a hit, a solo home run in the second inning to tie the game. Despite that, the Bulldogs pitching staff dominated throughout the course of the game while their bats handled the rest.
The Rebels wasted little time getting on the board first in the opening frame. Bench reached on his first at-bat via single. A ground out moved Bench closer, then Kevin Graham brought him home with a single, giving Ole Miss a 1-0 lead.
However, things didn’t go McDaniel’s way early on after 41 pitches in the opening frame. McDaniel walked three batters and gave up two hits to allow Georgia to take its first lead of the afternoon. McDaniel recovered and got out of a bases-loaded situation with consecutive strikeouts, but Georgia held a 2-1 lead after an inning complete.
Chatagnier tied the game up just like that after a one-out bomb to left field. McDaniel responded by working out of another scoring opportunity in the bottom of the second. The game was tied 2-2 going into the third inning. Bulldog starter Jonathan Cannon retired three of four Ole Miss batters to pass it back to his offense. Hits from Corey Collins and Parks Harber put runners on second and third with two outs, then Riley King singled up the middle to bring both runners home and put Georgia back on top 4-2 going into the fourth inning.
The Rebel offense went three up, three down before the UGA offense did further damage. McDaniel gave up a leadoff single to Ben Anderson, bringing Miller out to the mound, who gave up consecutive hits, one of which yielded an RBI and gave the Bulldogs a three-run lead. With runners at the corners and two outs, Garrett Blaylock blasted a three-run home run to the scoreboard in right field. The Bulldogs busted the game open at 8-2 going into the fifth. Cannon went 1-2-3 through the Ole Miss order for a second consecutive inning, then the Bulldogs threatened once again with Dougherty on the mound. King hit a leadoff single while Cole Tate reached on a throwing error, but three strikeouts brought the game to the sixth without further issue.
After another scoreless inning for Cannon on the hill, Georgia put two on fairly quickly with back-to-back singles. They added two more runs courtesy of a Harber RBI single and sac fly by King to score Chaney Rogers, giving Georgia a commanding 10-2 lead with three innings left. The Bulldogs would not be denied the rest of the way, scoring three more runs and finishing the regular season with a win.