Baseball completes sweep of Morehead State with Sunday afternoon victory

Published 8:46 am Monday, March 11, 2024

By Jeff Roberson

Ole Miss Sports

The Ole Miss baseball team scored all its runs early in Sunday’s series finale against Morehead State, which included three home runs. Throughout the contest it was pitching and defense that carried the Rebels to a 6-5 win and a sweep of the Eagles.

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The Rebels moved to 12-5 on the season with a road trip ahead on Tuesday for a 4 p.m. game at Louisiana-Monroe. Morehead State dropped to 7-8.

Grayson Saunier (3-1), the sophomore right-hander, got the win, going five complete innings and allowing no runs on three hits with three strikeouts and a walk. By then, Ole Miss led 6-0, with all the Rebels’ runs coming in the first four innings.

After leadoff batter Ethan Groff led off with a walk in the bottom of the first, Andrew Fischer homered to right to give Ole Miss a 2-0 lead after one inning.

Will Furniss homered to right to lead off the bottom of the second for a 3-0 UM lead. After Saunier continued his solid pitching, the Rebels got a bases-loaded walk in the third with Reagan Burford at the plate to extend the lead to 4-0. After a two-out Jackson Ross walk in the fourth, Ethan Lege sent one out of Swayze to left for a 6-0 Ole Miss advantage.

After both teams went three up, three down in the fifth, freshman left-hander Austin Simmons came in for Saunier to start the sixth and found the going a bit rough. With two outs and the bases loaded, sophomore right-hander Mason Morris relieved Simmons, with the Rebels’ lead at 6-2.

Morris, with only three pitches, got the Eagles’ Davis Germann to strike out and keep the score where it was.

After Ole Miss didn’t score in the bottom of the sixth, Morris was back on the mound for the seventh and made quick work of the Eagles, facing three hitters with a fly out, a strikeout, and a ground out.

Ole Miss couldn’t get any runs across in the bottom of the seventh, and junior right-hander Josh Mallitz came in for Morris to start the eighth. Before the frame was over, the Eagles trailed by only one run. Mallitz was able to make it through the inning and wound up closing out the game in the top of the ninth, after the Rebels didn’t get any runs in the bottom of the eighth.

The veteran Mallitz had a much easier time of it in the ninth with a lineout, a groundout, and a swinging strikeout, much to the delight of a sun-splashed but chilly home crowd that was cheering him and his teammates on to victory.

Callum McGill, the starter for MSU and the first of six pitchers in the game for the Eagles, got the loss and is now 1-1 this season.

After their trip to Louisiana on Tuesday, Ole Miss begins Southeastern Conference play at home Friday night and a three-game series against the South Carolina Gamecocks.