No. 3 Ole Miss drops series opener at No. 15 Gators, 4-1
GAINESVILLE, Florida – Following consecutive sweeps of Auburn and Alabama, the No. 3 Ole Miss Rebels looked to continue their winning ways for a second straight weekend on the road as they took on the No. 15-ranked Florida Gators.
However, the preseason No. 1 Gators, who were coming off being swept while visiting Eastern Division foe South Carolina, had other ideas in mind as they defeated Ole Miss, 4-1, to hand the Rebs their first loss in conference play.
Looking to change things up, Florida skipper Kevin O’Sullivan went with a Major League model using his usual game one starter Tommy Mace as a reliever rather handing him the ball to begin the game.
Ole Miss pulled no punches and went with its usual Game One starter Gunnar Hoglund.
Hoglund had a strong outing, throwing six solid innings and allowing just three hits and one earned run. Atypically, the junior issued three free passes to Florida batters. Pitching in his home state, Hoglund left the game with the Rebels trailing 2-1. He suffered his first loss of the season.
“(My) command wasn’t great,” Hoglund said of his performance after the game.
However, head coach Mike Bianco countered and praised his pitcher. “That’s what aces do. He held a really good team to one earned run,” Bianco said.
Offensively, hits were difficult to come by for the Red and Blue. Individually, Peyton Chatagnier, Kevin Graham, Tim Elko, and Hayden Leatherwood all recorded hits, while as a team Ole Miss was limited to just four hits.
The Rebel lone run was scored in the third inning when Chatagnier hit a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Leatherwood.
“We couldn’t put the at-bats together,” Coach Bianco lamented after the game. “Not a good day for us.”
Ole Miss looks to even the series Friday evening beginning 5:30 p.m. at Florida Ballpark.
“That’s the good news. We have Doug going tomorrow,” Coach Bianco added.