Ole Miss Baseball falls in series finale to No. 3 Florida

Published 11:30 am Monday, March 27, 2023

Florida completed a Southeastern Conference baseball sweep of Ole Miss Sunday with a 7-4 win at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.

The Gators (22-4, 5-1 SEC) took a 1-0 lead over the Rebels (15-9, 0-6 SEC) in the first inning on a two-out solo home run by Jac Caglianone off Ole Miss starter Xavier Rivas. But the junior left-hander had a solid day from that point on, allowing just four total runs, only two of them earned, on five hits with four strikeouts and two walks in 5.2 innings.

It was the Rebel offense that had some difficulty making much happen in the finale. Ole Miss scored just two runs through seven innings and didn’t get its first hit of the game until the fourth inning on a two RBI double by Jacob Gonzalez that cut the Gator lead to 3-2.

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Florida had stretched its lead to 7-2 through the top of the eighth inning when the Rebels mounted a comeback. Calvin Harris led off the bottom of the eighth with a single to center field. Harris got to third base on a throwing error by the Gator third baseman as Peyton Chatagnier reached first on a fielder’s choice. Chatagnier advanced on a wild pitch by Florida reliever Philip Abner and Harris scored on the play.

Anthony Calarco then singled up the middle and Chatagnier moved to third. The Gotrs changed pitchers as Brandon Neely came in to try to slow the Rebels down. Ethan Lege hit into a double play that allowed Chatagnier to score. TJ McCants flew out to end the inning, and Ole Miss had narrowed the gap to three runs.

After Florida failed to produce anything in the top of the ninth, Ethan Groff singled with one out in the bottom of the ninth. But two outs later, the game was over.

Cade Kurland was 3-for-5 with four RBI and a run scored to lead the Gators’ eight-hits attack. Groff, Gonzalez, Harris, and Calarco had one hit each for Ole Miss, as the Rebels only had those four hits in the contest.

Rivas (4-2) got the loss, and reliever Chris Arroyo (1-0) got the win. Neely got his fifth save of the season for the Gators.

Ole Miss plays Southern Mississippi in Pearl on Tuesday at 6 p.m.