Ole Miss baseball completes opening weekend sweep of Delaware

Published 10:15 am Monday, February 20, 2023

A second-inning offensive explosion helped Ole Miss to a large lead early as the Rebels completed a sweep of Delaware on Sunday with a 14-4 victory.

Ole Miss (3-0) won the first two games this weekend by 11-2 and 10-0 margins on Friday and Saturday respectively.

Rebel shortstop Jacob Gonzalez, with a career-high seven RBI, led the Rebel offense with a walk, a double, and a grand slam in the finale.

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After a scoreless top of the first for Rebel left-handed starter Xavier Rivas, a Calvin Harris fly ball scored Ethan Lege from third, who had reached on a hit by pitch, for a 1-0 Rebel lead after one inning.

After Rivas again allowed no runs, a seven spot in the bottom of the second put Ole Miss up 8-0. Already with four strikeouts and only one baserunner through two, the large advantage gave Rivas quite a lead to work with.

In that productive second, a walk for Anthony Calarco and singles by Judd Utermark and TJ McCants loaded the bases. Jacob Gonzalez then launched a grand slam over the right field wall for a 5-0 Rebel lead. After a Lege single, Kemp Alderman homered over the left field wall into the visiting bullpen. Harris followed with a double, Ethan Groff grounded out, and an error allowed Calarco to reach, which scored Harris.

Leading 8-0, the game settled in a bit and Rivas continued to pitch well. In the fourth, a fly out to center field by Harris after back-to-back singles by Lege and Alderman got Lege home from third base for a nine-run lead.

Rivas made it through one out in the top of the fifth inning. But with Blue Hens on first and second, both by walks, right-hander Tommy Henninger came in for the Rebel starter. A Dan Covino base hit got a run home for Delaware (0-3) in the fifth to cut the Ole Miss lead to 9-1.

In the bottom of the fifth, Peyton Chatagnier homered to left with one out to make it 10-1.

After two were aboard with one out in the sixth for the Blue Hens, Henninger was relieved by Jordan Vera. The freshman right-hander got a strikeout for the second out but then gave up a walk, a single, and a double as Delaware scored three runs in the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, Harris tripled to the right corner, then scored on a Groff single up the middle. A Gonzalez double to right later in the inning plated three runs for a 14-4 lead.

Vera closed it out for the Rebels in the top of the seventh with the 10-run rule in effect. Ole Miss had 14 hits in the contest to four for the Blue Hens.

In addition to Gonzalez’s successful day offensively, Alderman was 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. Lege was 2-for-3 and scored three runs. Harris had a double to go along with his triple and had two RBI on the day.

Catcher Tyler Leach had two hits to lead the Blue Hens on Sunday.

Rivas was the winning pitcher for the Rebels, while Delaware starter Chris Grome got the loss.

The Rebels host Arkansas State at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.