Harris’ career day lifts Ole Miss to series victory over No. 13 Maryland

Published 10:07 am Monday, February 27, 2023

It was a somewhat typical Sunday college baseball game with a lot of runs scored and multiple pitching changes at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field as Ole Miss defeated Maryland 18-8.

The Rebels (6-1) took the final two games of the three-game series from the Terrapins (3-4) over the weekend.

With a ten-run rule after seven innings in effect, the game ended in dramatic fashion. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, Maryland went to the bullpen as Eli Stowe replaced reliever Tommy Kane. Peyton Chatagnier walked on four pitches to score one run, then Jacob Gonzalez was hit by a Stowe pitch to score another. Ethan Groff walked to score yet another run. At that point, Ole Miss led 14-8.

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The Terrapins changed pitchers again, as Stowe was out and Andrew Johnson was in. A grand slam by Calvin Harris ended the game as he sent one out of Swayze to left field.

Harris with four hits (two of them home runs) and a collegiate personal record of eight RBI paced the Rebels. Kemp Alderman had three hits, including a homer and two RBI, for Ole Miss.

Earlier, after a three-strikeout top of the first inning for Rebel starter Xavier Rivas, the Ole Miss offense got a kick start from leadoff hitter Gonzalez, who launched one out of the park to right. The Rebels were up 1-0.

Rivas was strong early in the top of the second with two quick outs. But he then allowed three straight walks that ended up doing no damage.

After the Rebels got nothing in the second, Rivas was back out on the mound to start the third. A two-run homer by Nick Lorusso to left put the Terrapins up 2-1.

Chatagnier led off the Rebel third with a solo home run to left. Gonzalez followed with a walk; Groff was hit by a pitch. Harris made them count with a three-run homer to left. Ole Miss led 5-2. There were still no outs in the third.

After Alderman singled and Anthony Calarco walked, the Terps went to their bullpen. Starter Nate Haberthier was relieved by Kenny Lippman, but the Rebel fireworks continued. Alderman followed with a walk. With one out, TJ McCants sent a three-run homer over the right field bullpen. The Rebels had scored seven runs and led 8-2 after three complete.

Maryland had an answer for at least some of those runs in the fourth. A two-run shot to left by Elijah Lambros cut the Rebel lead to 8-4. Lorusso then sent his second one out of the ballpark on the day, a two-run shot to left that made it 8-6 Rebels. That ended Rivas’ day. He would end up with the win (2-0).

The junior left-hander went 3.2 innings, allowing six runs on six hits with four walks and five strikeouts. Mitch Murrell made his second appearance on the weekend. After a successful bunt put runners on first and third, the senior right-hander got a groundout to second to end it.

Maryland brought in a new pitcher for the Rebel fourth as Ryan Van Buren took the mound for the Terps. Groff welcomed him to the game with a single to left. Harris doubled to left as a hit and run was on and Groff headed all the way home to make it 9-6 Ole Miss.

Another Maryland pitcher was in after that. Kane replaced Van Buren after only two batters. Alderman got a hit to score Harris, but Alderman was thrown out trying to get to second base. At 10-6 with the home team leading, the game headed to the fifth.

Luke Shliger sent a Murrell pitch out of the park for a two-run homer for Maryland. Moving to the bottom of the fifth, Ole Miss led 10-8. The Rebels then went scoreless in the fifth.

After the Terps posted a zero in the sixth, the Rebels’ Alderman sent a solo shot to right and out of the park for an 11-8 lead after six complete.

Brayden Jones, right-hander, replaced Murrell to start the seventh. With bases loaded, the freshman got out of it as Lorusso sent one to the right field wall, but the ball was caught by McCants in spectacular fashion.

That set things up for the big Rebel seventh with seven runs by the home team to end the game.

Ole Miss hosts Louisiana Tech Tuesday and Wednesday this week.