OXFORD, Miss. — Friday was a very good night for Ole Miss baseball. The Rebels defeated the No. 6 Aggies, 13-3, at Swayze to clinch the series.
Ole Miss, who defeated A&M Thursday night, 5-4, in 11 innings, was paced in game two by a tremendous outing on the mound from freshman Doug Nikhazy. He went 7 innings, giving up only two runs (one earned) on four hits. He struck out 10 and did not walk a single Aggie.
“Coming out of the bullpen, I was able to notice my curveball was really sharp tonight. The changeup was very helpful to keep them off the fastball.”
Ole Miss pitcher Doug Nikhazy
Nikhazy received a standing ovation from the crowd as he left the mound.
“I couldn’t help but smile,” he said.
“I was trying to stay serious the whole time—and I’m not a very serious guy—so when I came off the mound, I couldn’t help but smile and just run in there and say ‘hi’ to everyone and be a human again.”
Nikhazy on the standing ovation from the home crowd
Taylor Broadway pitched the final two innings for the Rebels, allowing only one run on one hit.
The Rebels (29-15, 12-8) did the majority of their damage in the sixth and seventh innings, scoring six runs in each after trailing, 2-1, entering the bottom of the sixth. Overall, Ole Miss scored 13 runs on 13 hits with three players finishing with three hits apiece: Anthony Servideo, Ryan Olenek and Grae Kessinger.
Servideo and Tyler Keenan each had a double and a home run. Third baseman Keenan finished with three RBI, while Servideo had two RBI.
The Aggies started left-handed ace Asa Lacy (6-3) and he notched 11 strikeouts, but he allowed three runs on five hits and also walked three.
The Aggie bullpen was not much help as Chandler Jozwiak, Bryce Miller and Dustin Saenz combined to allow 10 runs on eight hits, with Saenz giving up six runs on five hits in two innings pitched.
Braden Shewmake finished with two of the Aggies’ five total hits, going 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI.
- Ole Miss improved to 29-15 overall and 12-8 in SEC play.
- Head coach Mike Bianco is now the third all-time winningest coach in Southeastern Conference history, moving past South Carolina’s Ray Tanner with 739 wins in his tenure at Ole Miss.
- Ole Miss has now claimed series wins over two top-10 teams (#6 Texas A&M, #8 Arkansas).
- Grae Kessinger has now reached base in 32 straight games. He has hits in 17 of his last 19 games and is on a six-game hitting streak.
- Tyler Keenan extended his lead in the team home run race, depositing his 11th of the season over the left-center wall in the sixth inning.
- Keenan also tied Ryan Olenek in the team hit-by-pitch race, now with 11 apiece.
- Keenan recorded his 15th multi-RBI game of the season and now has driven in 54 runs on the year.
- Nikhazy recorded the second outing of 7.0 innings or more of his career.
- Nikhazy’s 10 strikeouts came as a career-high.
- Thomas Dillard has now reached base in 15 straight games.
- Kessinger recorded his team-leading 21st multi-hit game.
- Four Rebels had multiple hits and five scored multiple runs.
(Quick Hits are courtesy of Ole Miss Baseball.)
With the win, Ole Miss clinched the conference series and will look to sweep the Aggies Saturday. First pitch is set for 2:00 p.m. CT.
Ole Miss pitcher Doug Nikhazy – Video credit: Mark Bourne, The Rebel Walk
Ole Miss CF Ryan Olenek – Video credit: Mark Bourne, The Rebel Walk
Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco – Video credit: Mark Bourne, The Rebel Walk