Saunier’s five scoreless lifts baseball to series win over Iowa

Published 10:13 am Monday, March 4, 2024

By Jeff Roberson

Ole Miss Sports

Ole Miss wrapped up its three-game home baseball series against Iowa with a solid 8-3 win on Sunday afternoon.

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The Rebels are now 8-5 on the season, while the Hawkeyes are 5-6. The teams had split the first two days – Iowa winning Friday night 13-7 and Ole Miss winning Saturday afternoon 12-5.

In the finale, the Rebels led only 1-0 when they broke the game open with a four-run fifth inning for a 5-0 lead. Ole Miss added another run in the sixth and two more in the seventh to lead 8-0 before Iowa got on the scoreboard in the eighth with three runs.

In the fourth, the Rebels got their first run of the game when Bo Gatlin flew out to right field, scoring Judd Utermark who had reached on a walk.

The Rebels’ big fifth inning got started with an Eli Berch single and an Ethan Groff walk. Andrew Fischer was up next and took an unfortunate hard shot to the head on a pitch. Brayden Randle pinch ran for Fischer, and with bases loaded, a walk for Jackson Ross put Ole Miss up 2-0. Ethan Lege drove in a run on a single to short for a 3-0 lead.

After Utermark reached on a fielder’s choice, Luke Hill got aboard on a fielding error on the third baseman, which scored Ross. It was 4-0 at that point. The final run of the fifth came on a fly ball to left by Will Furniss, which got Lege home for a 5-0 UM lead.

Berch led off the bottom of the sixth with a home run over the wall in left center for a 6-0 lead. In the bottom of the seventh, a passed ball allowed Furniss to reach first base and also got Hill home from third after he had reached on a walk. With bases loaded, Randle was hit by a pitch, which allowed Reagan Burford to score after the Rebels’ team captain had gotten aboard with a single.

It was 8-0 Rebels after seven complete, and Iowa would make some noise in the eighth. With two outs, Reese Moore doubled to score Sam Petersen who had walked. Kyle Huckstorf, with a two-run homer, cut the Ole Miss lead to five runs.

Rebel reliever Kyler Carmack came in for Wes Mendes, who had entered the game earlier for Rebel starter Grayson Saunier. Carmack not only got the final out of the eighth but pitched a scoreless ninth.

Saunier (2-1) got the win and gave the Rebels five solid innings – no runs, two hits, two walks, two strikeouts. Mendes came in to start the sixth and went two and two/thirds innings with three earned runs on four hits with a walk and six strikeouts.

Carmack went an inning and a third with a hit and two strikeouts. Hawkeye starter Cade Obermueller (0-1) got the loss for Iowa.

As was the case for much of the weekend, there was an abundance of baserunners in the game but also quite a few left stranded. In the Sunday game, Iowa had eight left on, while Ole Miss left 10 aboard.

Iowa pitching walked eight Rebels, and four others were hit by a pitch. The Hawkeyes sent six different pitchers to the mound in the finale.

Ole Miss now hosts Memphis on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. before hosting another home weekend series March 8-10 against Morehead State.