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No. 10 Ole Miss defeats Georgia 4-0, eliminates Bulldogs from SEC Tourney

No. 10 Ole Miss defeats Georgia 4-0, eliminates Bulldogs from SEC Tourney

HOOVER, Alabama – The Rebels returned to the diamond quickly Thursday, less than 13 hours after the 5-4, walk-off loss to Vanderbilt—a game that began Wednesday evening and finished into Thursday morning.

In today’s game, Ole Miss unleashed its not-so-secret weapon on Georgia, the loved and adored powder blue uniforms.

Ole Miss starter Drew McDaniel was outstanding. To be exact, head coach Mike McDaniel labeled the outing as “super dominant.” As Bianco explained, McDaniel was able to command all four pitches en route to his fifth victory of the season and a 4-0 Ole Miss win.  

Freshman shortstop Jacob Gonzalez praised his sophomore pitcher’s confidence level. “He was pitching with some swagger,” Gonzalez noted.

McDaniel ended with 11 strike outs in 6.2 scoreless innings pitched, both career-highs for the right-handed from Lafayette, Louisiana.

Mr. Consistent

Kevin Graham, who, in an absolute crime, was recently snubbed in all-conference selections, led off the second inning with a solo home run to put the Rebels on the scoreboard.  

Graham has now reached base in 51 straight games, tops in the nation, and also leads the Rebels with 13 home runs and 52 RBI.

Ole Miss hitting

Gonzalez contributed an RBI-single in the third, scoring John Rhys Plumlee who led off the inning with a double.  

Plumlee loves to have fun and play loose — and this was no exception.

In the fifth, Gonzalez scored Justin Bench on a single and a Georgia throwing error. Peyton Chatagnier then singled home Gonzalez to conclude the scoring for the Rebels.

On the mound

In addition to McDaniel’s strong outing, the Rebel bullpen performed quite well. Brandon Johnson took the mound in the seventh, retiring all four batters he faced in an extremely effective “Bridge to Broadway.”  

Ole Miss closer Taylor Broadway shut the door on the Dawgs in the ninth, allowing one hit in a “non-save” situation.

Outside the Box

Plays that don’t result in scoring are often overlooked in postgame write-ups.  There were two such plays Thursday afternoon.

First — Justin Bench sliding into third base in the third inning.

After the game, Coach Bianco jokingly said Bench’s slide was “all coaching,” before then making clear the real reason.

Those are instinctive plays. Justin’s a tremendous athlete. Justin just made one of those ‘how-to-win’ awareness plays.”

Coach Bianco on Justin Bench’s slide

Bench also took a ball to the back in the fifth inning, his league-leading 25th hit-by-pitch of the season.  Lots of bruises.

The second play of note involved captain Tim Elko.

In the fifth inning, Elko went first-to-third on a single from Chatagnier, silencing those wondering if he could run after suffering a torn ACL in April.   

“The more that he can do that, the better we are because when he’s in the lineup we’re a better team.” said Bianco.

What’s Next?

Ole Miss now awaits the result of tonight’s late game between Arkansas and Vanderbilt. The Rebs will face the loser of that game in another elimination game Friday evening in what will be game two of the Friday twin-bill.  

The Rebels will send Tyler Myers to the mound. A senior with JUCO experience, Myers has started two games for the Rebels. He has a 6.15 ERA with 26.1 innings pitched and 29 strikeouts. His longest outing is three innings where he threw 44 pitches.  

Hotty Toddy!

(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss)

About The Author

Chris Muller

Chris is our Director of Baseball Content and Senior Baseball Writer. Muller is a 1995 Graduate of Ole Miss. He is a collegiate recreational sports professional currently residing in Arlington Texas with his wife of 24 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.

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