Offensive outburst boosts baseball to win over Panthers

Published 8:00 am Sunday, February 25, 2024

By Jeff Roberson

Ole Miss Athletics

Ole Miss got the start it had been looking for in recent games in its 12-2 win against High Point University Saturday night.

Email newsletter signup

A four RBI night with two home runs from Jackson Ross lifted the Rebels (3-4) offensively. Will Furniss also homered in the game with three runs scored. Although with only six hits, the Rebels took advantage of several situations provided by the Panther pitchers, including 12 walks.

The Rebels’ starting pitcher, left-hander Gunnar Dennis, had a three up, three down top of the first. Ole Miss batters then followed that up in the bottom of the first with four runs off right-hander Gus Hughes, the High Point starter.

After Ethan Groff walked, Andrew Fischer tripled down the right-field line to score Groff. Ethan Lege flied out to center field to score Fischer. It was 2-0 Rebels at that point with more to come.

With Ross aboard following a walk, Furniss, in the DH role, launched one out of Swayze over the right-center wall. It was 4-0 Rebels. There was one inning in the books.

After Dennis had another three up, three down inning in the second, the Panthers (2-5) finally got a run in the top of the third. Sam Schner singled with two outs to score Adam Stuart, who had also reached on a base hit. That cut the Rebel lead to 4-1.

The Panthers added a run in fifth as Cael Chatham singled with two outs to drive in Konni Durschlag who had also reached on a base hit. It was 4-2 Ole Miss. Following a walk by Brett Ahalt, right-hander Josh Mallitz relieved Dennis and got a strikeout of Brayden Simpson to end the frame.

The Rebels picked up three additional runs in the bottom of the fifth. Lege doubled with one out, followed by a Ross two-run homer into the visiting bullpen in left for a 6-2 UM lead.

There was a call to the bullpen for the Panthers, and left-hander Tyler Romanias was in for Hughes. After getting a strikeout, he walked four straight and was pulled in favor of right-hander Dalton Williams with the Rebels now up 7-2. Williams got Groff to strike out looking.

Mallitz had a quick inning in the top of the sixth. The Rebels put this one away in the bottom of the sixth. After Fischer and Lege both walked, Ross again came through, this time with a three-run homer to left. It was 10-2 Ole Miss. After Furniss walked and High Point brought in right-hander Braden Halladay to pitch, Luke Hill homered to left and it was 12-2, the final margin.

Dennis got his second win of the campaign and is 2-0, while Hughes (1-1) got the loss for HPU.

Dennis pitched 4.2 innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on six hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. Mallitz went 2.1 innings with four strikeouts, one walk, and one hit, facing nine batters.

The teams wrap up the series Sunday at 1:30 p.m.