Ole Miss baseball downed by Vanderbilt in series finale

Published 1:00 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023

By Jeff Roberson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt took game three of the weekend series with Ole Miss 7-2, and the Commodores were able to complete the sweep.

The Rebels head home 14-6 overall and 0-3 in Southeastern Conference play, while Vandy is 16-5 and 3-0.

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Ole Miss hosts Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

After a scoreless first inning with both starting pitchers facing just three hitters each, the Rebels got on the scoreboard in the top of the second with a solo home run to right center by Jacob Gonzalez for a 1-0 lead.

After a second straight three up, three down for Rebel left-handed starter Xavier Rivas in the bottom of the second, Ole Miss couldn’t manage to get anything going in the top of the third.

Rivas continued his strong performance, retiring the three Commodores he faced in the third, and the Rebels continued to lead 1-0 after three complete.

Calvin Harris led off the fourth with a solo homer to right center to put the Rebels up 2-0. In the bottom of the fourth, Rivas found things rough early, walking Enrique Bradfield and hitting Davis Diaz with a pitch. After a double steal, Bradfield came home on a fly ball to center field by RJ Schreck. Jack Bulger then sent a ball out of the park to left for a 3-2 Vanderbilt lead. RJ Austin lined out to short, while Chris Maldonado flew out to right.

In the fifth, the Rebels came up with nothing offensively, while in the bottom of the frame Vanderbilt did likewise as both starters were still in the contest and pitching effectively.

Ole Miss’ sixth was unproductive as right-hander Sam Hliboki replaced left-handed starter Devin Futrell for the Commodores, and the result was two strikeouts and a ground out.

Rivas was back out to start the bottom of the sixth. Bradfield led off with a walk, and Coach Mike Bianco elected for a change on the mound. Rivas’ day was done, and the Rebels brought in right-hander JT Quinn to pitch. Quinn immediately threw to first base, and Anthony Calarco tagged Bradfield out.

Diaz was the next Vandy batter up, and he sent one up the middle for a base hit. Quinn threw a wild first pitch to Schreck, and Diaz raced to second. After Schreck walked to put runners on first and second and one out, Bulger was up. A hit and run worked to perfection as Bulger sent one up the middle. Diaz scored and Schreck moved to third. That was all for Quinn, and right-hander Mason Nichols entered. At the end of six innings, the Commodores led 7-2.

Ole Miss had some work to do to get back in this one and just a few at-bats to do so. They never got anything going in the final frames, and the Commodores got the victory.

Rivas got the loss and fell to 4-1 while Futrell was the winner and is 4-1. The Rebels managed just four hits to Vandy’s six.