OXFORD, Miss. (Ole Miss Athletics) – No. 15 Ole Miss cruised to a blowout Sunday victory and series sweep over Xavier behind a strong day from the bats, which exploded for 13 runs on 12 hits. The Rebels used an eight-run fifth inning to put the game out of reach, and never quite looked back en route to a 13-3 victory and 6-1 start to the season.
Hayden Leatherwood notched his first career homer in the eighth inning that ended the game by way of a 10-run rule, and the Rebels were able to walk away an inning earlier than planned thanks to the team’s fourth home run of the day. Leatherwood also led the Rebels at the plate with three hits, four RBI, and a pair of runs scored, and was the team’s top performer in a dominant victory over the Musketeers.
Freshman Derek Diamond turned in another quality outing and picked up his first career win of the young season. He was able to go 5.0 IP for his second straight start, before turning the ball over to a trio of Rebel relievers after Ole Miss had secured a comfortable lead.
Anthony Servideo continues to electrify Swayze Field this season, and added to his thrilling start to the year with a 2-for-3 day at the plate with two RBI, two runs, and a homer, his fourth of the year. He only recorded three homers all season last year, and has already set a new career mark just seven games into the season. Cael Baker, Peyton Chatagnier, and Leatherwood rounded out the Rebels’ three other home runs.
Both offenses were quiet over the game’s first four innings, save for a pair of solo homers from the Rebels’ Cael Baker and Xavier’s Kody Darcy in the third inning that knotted the game at one.
Diamond pitched a gem in the freshman’s second career start and lasted long enough to pick up his first win in a Rebel uniform. He spun together six strikeouts to no walks and allowed just the one run on three hits. He only threw 70 pitches and could have easily trotted back out for the sixth inning, but the Rebel bats exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the fifth, negating the need for Diamond to reappear.
The fifth inning saw eight different Rebels reach base on six hits. Servideo and Justin Bench both reached on back-to-back walks, before a Tyler Keenan double scored both of them. A Hayden Dunhurst sacrifice fly plated Keenan, but the real damage came with two outs when five Rebels in a row reached safely.
Freshman Peyton Chatagnier recorded his first career home run in the inning, but not to be upstaged, Servideo followed it up with a two-run homer later in the frame. Kevin Graham and Cade Sammons also both notched an RBI with a pair of run-scoring hits.
Taylor Broadway and Greer Holston each assumed an inning in relief, with Broadway tossing a perfect sixth that included two strikeouts for one of the leading arms in the Rebel bullpen. Holston’s seventh inning was less fortuitous, in an outing that saw a pair of runs scored but mitigated with a backwards K to strand two.
Max Cioffi worked the game’s final eighth inning and cruised to an easy outing.
Leatherwood ensured that Cioffi wouldn’t be seeing the mound again with his two-run homer in the bottom half of the eighth, scoring both himself and Chatagnier to reach the 10-run threshold to close the game early.
This weekend’s sweep of Xavier is the Rebels’ first three-game sweep of the young season.
Ole Miss will be back at Swayze Field this Tuesday to host Southern Miss for a 4 p.m. CT start, before jetting off for the first road test of the year next weekend at the Keith LeClair Classic in Greenville, North Carolina.
– Ole Miss improves to 6-1 on the year on the year and 3-0 all-time vs. Xavier after the first ever three-game meeting with the Musketeers.
– The eighthits allowed this weekend are the fewest allowed for the Rebels over a three-game series in the modern era.
– Ole Miss had more home runs (9) this weekend than Xavier did hits (8).
– The Rebels picked up their first series sweep of the year today. In 2019, Ole Miss had four weekend sweeps.
– Xavier snapped a 21-inning scoreless streak today with a solo HR in the third inning.
– Freshman Derek Diamond set a new career-best mark with sixstrikeouts today. He also picked up his first win of the young season.
– Cael Baker hit his team-best fourth home run of the season in the third inning of today’s game.
– With yet another home run today, Anthony Servideo has already surpassed his 2019 total of three, with four homers so far this year.
– Hayden Leatherwood also picked up his first career HR today, a two-run shot that ended the game in the eighth inning by way of a 10-run mercy rule.