Furniss’ big night propels baseball to series’ leveling win over No. 18 Alabama

Published 2:02 pm Saturday, April 27, 2024

By Jeff Roberson, Ole Miss Athletics

Ole Miss and No. 18 Alabama put on an offensive exhibition Friday night in game two of their Southeastern Conference baseball series. The Rebels came out on top in a close contest 9-8.

The middle innings produced the most fireworks in this one. Ole Miss led 3-1 after the top of the fourth, then both teams scored four runs in the fifth and two in the sixth. The Crimson Tide added a run in the seventh and the Rebels’ lead was just one run at 9-8 at that point. That’s when the Ole Miss pitchers finished things up.

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Mason Morris, the fourth of five Rebel pitchers in the game, pitched a three-up, three-down eighth inning to keep things where they were at 9-8. The sophomore right-hander faced three Tide batters, with a pop up to short and two ground outs. After Ole Miss didn’t produce anything in the bottom of the eighth, Connor Spencer entered in the top of the ninth to close things out. The senior righty managed the frame well, although the second Tide batter of the inning reached on an error. A line out and a fly out ended the game, and the Rebels had posted the victory.

Offensively, sophomore Will Furniss came up big for the Rebels on this night with a 4-for-5 game, which included a solo home run to right in the bottom of the sixth that gave Ole Miss the lead. The Rebels were up 9-7 at that point, and Furniss’ blast immediately followed a solo home run to left by senior Ethan Lege to give the Rebels an 8-7 advantage.

A first-inning RBI double by Furniss got Ole Miss on the board initially. Furniss had two RBI in the game.

Luke Hill, the sophomore middle infielder, singled to drive in a run in the bottom of the third, followed by a bases-loaded walk by Eli Berch to give the Rebels a 3-0 lead after three. Hill finished the game 3-for-4 with an RBI.

Shortstop Justin Lebron and first baseman Will Hodo had three hits each for Alabama. The Tide had 12 hits to the Rebels’ 10.

Starter Liam Doyle gave Ole Miss four and a third innings on the mound with just two earned runs and five strikeouts, followed by reliever JT Quinn before Gunnar Dennis entered.

Dennis (4-2), the third Rebel pitcher in the game, went 2.1 innings and picked up the victory. The loss went to Braylon Myers (1-1), Alabama’s third of four pitchers in the contest.

The two teams meet at 2 p.m. Saturday to wrap up the series, which is now tied one win each.