OXFORD, Miss. (Ole Miss Athletics) – Despite a dominant outing by relief pitcher Wyatt Short, No. 6 Ole Miss fell 4-0 to No. 10 South Carolina Saturday at Swayze Field. On a beautiful afternoon of Easter weekend, Rebel Nation showed their support by showing up in great numbers. The day’s crowd of 10,184 marked the seventh-highest crowd in Swayze Field history.
On the mound for Ole Miss (20-5, 2-4 SEC), Andy Pagnozzi (4-1) earned his first weekend start as a Rebel. Pagnozzi tossed 3.1 innings before Short took over the mound. Short finished the game with a phenomenal performance, allowing only one hit and collecting four strikeouts. The junior southpaw’s 5.2 innings of relief was a career high and the longest outing by a Rebel reliever since Scott Weathersby pitched 6.0 extra innings in the 16-inning win over No. 1 Vanderbilt, April 10, 2015.
Designated hitter Michael Fitzsimmons and first baseman Will Golsan led the day offensively as both Rebels went 2-for-4 on the day. Today’s game was Fitzsimmons fourth consecutive contest with at least one hit, three of the last four being multi-hit games.
For South Carolina (23-2, 6-0 SEC), three pitchers combined to keep Ole Miss off the scoreboard. Starter Adam Hill (5-0) earned the win, giving up four hits in six innings. Tyler Johnson (2) closed the game to tally his second save.
The Gamecocks attacked early, scoring three times in the first frame. After a leadoff double by centerfielder Gene Cone, catcher John Jones hit a RBI groundout to score his teammate two batters later. Designated hitter Alex Destino doubled to left field before he crossed home on a RBI single to right by left fielder D. Thompson-Williams. After stealing second and advancing to third on a throwing error, Thompson-Williams scored on a RBI single by Jonah Bride.
The Rebels went to the bullpen in the fourth and Short took over the mound for Pagnozzi. Short entered the game with a runner on third and only one out, getting the Rebels out of the jam and keep the game at 3-0.
South Carolina remained ahead by three runs as both teams went scoreless until the top of the fifth. With runners on the corners, Jones sent a deep fly ball to the warning track in left field. Connor Cloyd made an incredible catch to rob Jones of a hit, but the sacrifice fly put the Gamecocks up four.
Ole Miss kept the Gamecocks off the board for the next four innings as Short dominated the remainder of the game, retiring 11 in a row at one point. Nonetheless, the Rebels were not able to get the bats going as South Carolina took game three for a final score of 4-0.
The Rebels look to rebound this week as Ole Miss heads to Memphis Wednesday, March 30, looking to complete the season sweep over the Tigers. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT at AutoZone Park, home of the Memphis Redbirds, Triple A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Ole Miss will then head to Starkville, Mississippi to face in-state rival Mississippi State in a weekend SEC series (April 1-3).