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No. 1 Ole Miss defeats Texas, Sweeps College Baseball Showdown

No. 1 Ole Miss defeats Texas, Sweeps College Baseball Showdown

ARLINGTON, Texas – Peyton Chatagnier made himself at home Monday. The Cypress, Texas native belted three doubles as Ole Miss beat Texas 8-1 at Globe Life Field in Arlington. 

(Click here for our live blog of the game.)

The Rebels, who are ranked number-one nationally this week in the Baseball America poll, have now won 19 straight games dating back to last season. Ole Miss opened the tournament with a 7-3 win over No. 10 TCU Saturday, followed by a 5-4 victory over No. 3 Texas Tech Sunday.

Derek Diamond also made himself quite comfortable on the Texas Rangers’ home pitcher’s mound. The sophomore went six innings, allowing just one run on four hits. He struck out eight Longhorns while throwing 86 pitches, 60 of them strikes.

Three Ole Miss pitchers struck out 13 Longhorns in the game.

Chatagnier opened things with a leadoff double past the Longhorn third baseman and moved to third on a passed ball. The sophomore trotted home when freshman shortstop Jacob Gonzalez lifted a sacrifice fly to left field and the Rebels had a manufactured 1-0 lead.

Eric Kennedy got Texas off to a good start with a one-out double, but Diamond rebounded with a pair of strikeouts – in addition to fanning the leadoff batter – to strand Kennedy at second.

Texas got something going in the bottom of the second. Silas Ardoin took a fastball off his helmet and Dalton Porter followed with a single to center to put runners on first and second. Each runner moved up 90 feet when Cam Williams dropped down a sacrifice bunt to allow Ole Miss to record the first out of the inning. But again, Diamond struck out the next two Longhorns to preserve the lead.

Trey LaFleur opened the third with a double down the first base line, and he stole third as Chatagnier struck out swinging. 

But LaFleur was caught straying off the bag to quell the threat after Gonzalez struck out.

Kevin Graham took a pitch off the leg to open the fourth inning. He moved to second when Kolby Kubichek balked, and Graham took third on a wild pitch. But Tim Elko struck out, Hayden Dunhurst popped up and Ben Van Cleve went down on strikes as the Rebels couldn’t take advantage of a golden scoring opportunity. 

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Gonzalez showed why he’s a starter at short in the SEC as a freshman, making an acrobatic stop and a phenomenal throw to first.

In the bottom of the fifth Williams sent a towering drive over the right field fence and with one swing, the Longhorns tied the game 1-1.

Chatagnier started the sixth the way he started the game – with a double past the third baseman. Gonzalez followed by earning a seven-pitch walk to give the Rebels two runners on base with no outs. Graham then delivered a single up the middle to score Chatagnier and give Ole Miss a 2-1 edge.

The Rebels then loaded the bases when Elko was hit by a pitch with still no outs in the inning.

Dunhurst drove in Gonzalez when he lifted a fly ball into center field to give the Rebels a 3-1 lead. One out later, Hayden drew a walk to again load the bases for Ole Miss.

Justin Bench followed with his first hit of the season to score Elko and Graham to take a 5-1 lead and give the Rebels runners at the corners.

Ole Miss tried to sneak in a run with a double steal, and while Bench got to second base the inning came to an end when Leatherwood was nailed at the home plate.

In the inning, the Rebels sent nine batters to the plate, scoring four runs with three hits.

Chatagnier continued his double showcase in the seventh when he blasted his third of the game to left centerfield, but he was hobbled halfway between first and second base and was forced to leave the game with what Coach Bianco said postgame is a hamstring injury. 

Gonzalez earned his second walk of the game to give the Rebels runners at first and second. He was erased when Graham bounced into a fielder’s choice that moved Garrett Wood – who was pinch running for Chatagnier – to third. The possible rally ended with Elko grounding to short.

Brandon Johnson came on in relief of Diamond and in his Ole Miss debut, he struck out the first two batters he saw on the way to retiring the Longhorns in order.

LaFleur added to the Ole Miss lead in the ninth inning with a tape-measure home run to give the Rebels a 6-1 advantage.

After Garrett Wood walked, Gonzalez tripled to right field to score Wood, but the Rebs were not done. Gonzalez scored on a groundout by Graham to give Ole Miss an 8-1 cushion.

Up Next

Ole Miss opens its home season Wednesday. Arkansas State will visit Swayze Field with first pitch set for 4 p.m.

(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss)

About The Author

Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers. He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio. A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series. Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time. He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk. Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

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