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Ole Miss drops opening game of LSU series

Ole Miss drops opening game of LSU series

OXFORD, Miss. – Following three consecutive weekends of dropping the first game of the series, No. 12 Ole Miss returned to Swayze Field, looking to get off to an early start against Western Division SEC foe and uncharacteristically unranked LSU.

After what was described as “stiffness” in the bicep area of the Rebs’ usual game-one starter Gunnar Hoglund, sophomore Derek Diamond was announced as the starter.  Diamond only found out around 2:30 p.m. he might be the starter.

Diamond was exactly what the Rebels needed — and more.  He matched his season-high six innings, only allowing one earned run and four hits. The California native left the game with the Red and Blue holding a 4-2 lead.  A former 2019 draft pick of the Diamondbacks, Diamond wouldn’t factor into the decision.

Diamond took his move to the bullpen in stride. “I was excited for a new chapter, excited to bounce back. Resiliency is what makes great athletes and great people,” he added.

Kevin Graham was impressed with Diamond’s performance. “He gave us everything he had to give us a chance to win that game and he couldn’t have been better,” Graham noted.

Unfortunately, the Rebel bullpen was unable to hold the Tigers off the scoreboard and ultimately from taking the lead.

All of the Rebel scoring came from the long ball as three different Ole Miss hitters homered.  Kevin Graham recorded his seventh long ball of the season in the first inning.

Hayden Leatherwood continued his hot streak at the plate with his fourth home run in four SEC games and sixth for the season.

Jacob Gonzales contributed his fifth dinger of his freshman season in the form a two-run shot in the sixth.

Head Coach Mike Bianco said the Rebels weren’t able to do enough in the latter part of the game. “We left some runners on. It’s tough, usually we’re good at that. That’s one of the things we do really well — is hit with runners in scoring position,” he noted.

The defensive play of the game from Ole Miss was a run-saving outfield assist from right fielder John Rhys Plumlee. Ranging back toward the warning track, Plumlee successfully reeled in a fly ball and immediately fired the ball toward second base.  The dead-on-the-mark throw ended in a double play that retired Coach Bianco’s son Drew.

Up Next

Ole Miss returns to action Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Swayze Field with reigning National Player of the Week and SEC Pitcher of the Week Doug Nikhazy taking the mound.

Hotty Toddy!

(Feature image credit: Ole Miss Baseball)

About The Author

Chris Muller

Chris Muller is a 1995 Graduate of Ole Miss. He is a collegiate recreational sports professional currently residing in Arlington Texas with his wife of 19 years, Amber, and German Shorthaired Pointer, Sophie. Chris is an avid Ole Miss Baseball and Football fan. His hobbies include watching college football and baseball and playing poker with his friends.

2 Comments

  1. Judi Bondi

    Imagine finding out at 2:30 that you will be the starting pitcher. Way to go, Derek Diamond. Nice outing!

    Reply
    • Evelyn Van Pelt

      So proud of him! Wonderful young man on and off the baseball diamond.

      Reply

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