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For a while on Thursday, it looked as if the baseball game at Olsen Field between No. 2 Texas A&M and No. 6 Ole Miss would be postponed as more than two inches of rain fell in just a couple of hours.
However, the skies cleared and the game was on. Unfortunately for the Rebels, the Aggies brought a storm of their own in the sixth inning, scoring five runs en route to a 6-1 series opening win over Ole Miss.
The loss was the first series-opening defeat for the Rebels in the past seven Southeastern Conference series.
In the first inning, the Aggies (40-12, 19-9 SEC) saw back-to-back singles from Nick Choruby and J.B. Moss. Boomer White moved them into scoring position with his sacrifice bunt. A&M’s hot-hitting Hunter Melton then drove in one run with an RBI groundout that gave A&M a 1-0 lead after one inning.
Ole Miss (39-15, 17-11 SEC) battled back in the next inning when Colby Bortles launched a solo home run to left center that tied the game 1-1 going to the third inning.
The game remained tied until the bottom of the sixth inning–and then the A&M barrage began. It started with a single from Choruby and was followed by a double to left center from Moss that gave the Aggies a 2-1 lead. Melton then hammered an RBI double to make it a 3-1 contest.
Ryne Birk then notched an RBI single that extended the Aggie lead to 4-1. Jonathan Moroney broke the game wide open with his two-run single that gave A&M a 6-1 lead after six complete.
In the pivotal sixth inning, the Aggies scored five runs on six hits–and cycled through their batting order one complete time.
Rebel ace and Friday night starter Brady Bramlett (7-3) suffered his first loss in seven starts this season. He allowed four runs on six hits in 5.1 innings. Freshman Andy Pagnozzi had an outstanding outing in relief, throwing 2.2 scoreless innings and retiring eight of the 10 batters he faced.
On the A&M side, starter Brigham Hill worked seven innings, allowing one earned run on just four hits while striking out eight Rebels. After Hill’s exit on the mound, Mark Ecker relieved him and had just as much success. He pitched two innings, allowing one hit while striking out two.
Sophomore Will Golsan continued to hit well, going 2-for-4 and increasing his hitting streak to 12 games. Junior Colby Bortles hit his seventh homer of the season, while J.B. Woodman, a finalist for the C Spire Ferriss Trophy, added his 12th double of the year.
Unfortunately, however, Ole Miss was held to 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and 1-for-8 with runners on base. The Aggies, on the other hand, tallied 11 hits and went 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position and were 6-for-16 with runners on base.
Game two is set for Friday night with first pitch at 6:30 p.m. CT. Sophomore left-hander David Parkinson will start for the Rebels, while sophomore Turner Larkins will take the mound for the Aggies. The game will be broadcast on SECN+ and can also be heard on the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network.
Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn has covered Rebel sports for numerous outlets. In addition to working for The Rebel Walk, Evelyn is a sports writer for a newspaper in Texas.