OXFORD, Miss. (WCBI/Ole Miss Athletics) – It was a tough day for the Rebels on Sunday as No. 6 Ole Miss (21-4, 3-3 SEC) dropped its first series of the season, falling in both games of a doubleheader to No. 24 Texas A&M (17-8, 5-1 SEC) at Swayze Field.
The Rebels dropped a tight contest in game one, falling 2-1 to the Aggies, before losing a five-run lead in the second game to fall 10-6. Both games were seven-inning contests per Southeastern Conference rules.
“It was a tough day for us,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “In the first game, we played poorly, but we just didn’t do enough to win the game. We didn’t have many opportunities to score, but when we did we didn’t get the clutch hit. We exchanged homers, and they were able to put an inning together.
“Game two was very disappointing,” Bianco said. “Anytime you can score five (runs) in the first, especially in a short game at home, you have to be able to close. It was their day. Texas A&M played terrific. They’re good. We held them for two games pretty well. In game three, they were too good. We just didn’t make enough pitches. You have to credit them. They were terrific offensively.”
Mike Mayers (2-2) suffered the loss in game one after allowing two runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts through 6.0 innings of work.
Daniel Mengden (4-1) picked up the win as he held the Rebels to one run on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts through 5.2 innings of work. Jason Jester picked up his seventh save of the season, holding Ole Miss scoreless through the final 1.1 innings and striking out one batter without allowing a hit.
Texas A&M got on the board in the first inning when Mitchell Nau came up with an RBI single to bring home lead-off hitter Mikey Reynolds. Reynolds reached when he was hit by a pitch to open the game and moved to second on a sac bunt to set up the RBI-hit from Nau.
The Aggies took the lead out to 2-0 with a solo home run in the third inning from Nau as he drove in both runs for Texas A&M in game one.
Stuart Turner got the Rebels on the board with a solo home run in the fourth inning to cut the lead in half, but Ole Miss could not get another man home the rest of the way and dropped the first contest 2-1.
Game two opened with a strong first inning from the Rebels, who plated five runs in the frame to take the early lead on the visiting Aggies.
Auston Bousfield drew a walk before stealing second and scored on a single to left center from Austin Anderson to get things started. Turner then drew a walk and Andrew Mistone delivered another RBI single for the Rebels to make it 2-0.
With two outs on the board, Will Allen drew a walk to load the bases and set the table for Will Jamison. The right fielder delivered a two-RBI single to right field that scored Turner and Mistone and sent Allen from first to third. The Aggie first baseman cut off the throw to the plate from right and instead of coming home, decided to throw to second and sailed the ball into left field, allowing Allen to score and give Ole Miss the 5-0 lead before Texas A&M would get out of the inning.
The Aggies pushed two runs home in the second inning to cut the lead to 5-2 with an RBI triple from Troy Stein and a squeeze bunt from Brandon Wood that brought Stein home as the Rebels traded the run for the out.
Texas A&M added three more runs in the fifth inning to tie the game at five, loading the bases before coming up with an RBI single, a sac fly and a sac bunt to get the three runs home and even things at five.
A four-run sixth inning from the Aggies put the visiting team on top for good as Ole Miss couldn’t slow down the momentum in the visiting dugout and Texas A&M took the 10-5 lead.
Ole Miss got one run back in the seventh inning on an RBI single to right field from pinch hitter Holt Perdzock, but nothing more as the Rebels dropped the second game of the doubleheader 10-6 and the first series of the season.
The Rebels will return to action on Wednesday night when Ole Miss hosts Arkansas State at 6:30 p.m. at Swayze Field.