Ole Miss falls to Tennessee, 12-1, in opening game of the series
Oxford, Miss. – Friday-night SEC baseball and a sold-out Swayze Field brought the attention of the college baseball world to Oxford-University Stadium.
Unfortunately, the highly anticipated match-up between No. 1 Ole Miss and No. 5 Tennessee did not yield a ballgame indicative of the closeness in rankings as the Vols defeated the Rebels, 12-1, in game one.
With Friday night starters in the SEC, you would expect crisp, clean baseball with runs at a premium. The first inning set up that way with both Ole Miss starter John Gaddis and Tennessee starter Chase Burns going 1-2-3, each striking out the side.
If the first inning was a dream for Gaddis, the second inning could best be described as a nightmare.
The Volunteers combined three walks, a single, a triple and a two-run home run to score six and chase the graduate transfer after only 1 1/3 innings pitched.
Dylan DeLucia followed Gaddis for the Rebs and, in reality, saved the bullpen for rest of the series after going a season high 6 2/3 innings, throwing 96 pitches — also a high for the 2022 campaign.
After the game, DeLucia said he felt his job was to “…just get outs, compete every pitch.”
That, he did, garnering praise from head coach Mike Bianco. “…(He) competes his butt off,” said the Rebel skipper.
Matt Parenteau threw the final inning for the Rebels.
In total, Ole Miss only allowed nine hits; however, it was the five walks that really did them in, four of which came around to score.
Also on display was the firepower of the Tennessee offense; entering the series, the Vols ranked first in the country in home runs, and last night they added five more to their total.
On a night when the Tennessee offense was on display, the Rebel bats were held to three hits. The lone Ole Miss run came off the bat of the Captain, Tim Elko.
In the seventh inning, the Floridian took a 1-0 fastball to centerfield to avoid the shutout.
Touch 'em all, Timmy.@TimElko | #HottyToddy pic.twitter.com/sqV2m1yDxr
— Ole Miss Baseball (@OleMissBSB) March 26, 2022
Calvin Harris returned from injury in pinch-hit role. “It’s been a really good week for him in practice,” Coach Bianco said.
Next up for Ole Miss
The Rebels look to even the series Saturday at 7 p.m. (CT) in front of a second consecutive sold-out crowd at Swayze Field.
Starting for Ole Miss will be right-handed pitcher Jack Dougherty (1-0, 4.26 ERA, 23 strikeouts). Dougherty moves forward a day this week in the rotation.
Tennessee will hand the ball to sophomore righty Chase Dollander (3-0, 3.38 ERA, 44 strikeouts) who is holding opposing batters to a .182 batting average).
(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss)
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 25 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.