Ole Miss’ rally falls short as Texas A&M evens series

Published 10:01 pm Friday, March 23, 2018

Ole Miss had plenty of opportunities to pull off another comeback against Texas A&M on Friday.

The Rebels came up a run short.

No. 5 Ole Miss made things interesting late but had its four-game winning streak snapped with a 7-6 loss at Blue Bell Park that evened the series with No. 12 Texas A&M. The teams will play the rubber match Saturday at 2 p.m.

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Michael Fitzsimmons put a dent in A&M’s 7-2 lead in the eighth with a two-out, pinch-hit grand slam off reliever Chandler Jozwiak. Cole Zabowski’s one-out double in the ninth put the tying run in scoring position for Ole Miss (21-3, 3-2 SEC), but back-to-back groundouts ended the Rebels’ final threat.

Designated hitter Chase Cockrell went 3-for-3 and scored twice while Will Golsan and Jacob Adams each drove in a run, but Fitzsimmons’ blast was one of the Rebels’ few timely hits. Ole Miss went just 3-for-16 with runners on and 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

A&M’s Michael Helman finished 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs. Will Frizzell had a home run and two RBIs while Hunter Coleman had two hits and drove in three runs for the Aggies (19-5, 2-3), who took advantage of an uncharacteristic lack of command from Brady Feigl to lead 4-0 after three innings and 5-1 after five before taking their biggest lead on Coleman’s two-run single in the seventh.

Feigl (5-1) came in as the most consistent pitcher in Ole Miss’ rotation, beginning the season with five straight quality starts and just four earned runs allowed in 32 ⅔ innings. But A&M needed just five innings to match that number, putting up a four-spot on three hits in the second before manufacturing another run in the fifth on Coleman’s RBI groundout.

Feigl allowed six runs (five earned) on five hits while striking out four in 6 ⅓ innings, raising his earned run average to 2.08. The junior right-hander came in having issued just three walks all season but walked four Aggies, two of which scored.

Ole Miss had eight of its 10 hits against left-hander Josh Doxakis (4-0), but Golsan’s RBI double in the fourth and Adams’ RBI single in the seventh were the only runs the Rebels mustered against A&M’s starter before he left with two on and two out in the seventh. Doxakis struck out seven and didn’t walk anybody.

The Rebels had a chance to further cut into A&M’s lead once Doxakis left when Cason Sherrod walked Grae Kessinger to load the bases, but Sherrod got Zabowski to line out to thwart one of the Rebels’ many chances.