Grand slam dooms Ole Miss
COLLEGE STATION, Tx. - For the majority of Sunday’s rubber match, the Ole Miss pitching staff held its own despite an early two-run home run from Texas A&M first baseman Will Frizzell. The Rebels held a 5-2 lead in the seventh inning until Frizzell struck once again with a grand slam that eventually lifted the Aggies to a 6-5 victory in the deciding Game 3.
Hayden Leatherwood finished perfect at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a team-high two RBI while Hayden Dunhurst went 2-for-4 and a run scored. On the mound, Drew McDaniel went 4.2 innings and surrendered five hits and two runs, both coming off the bat of Frizzell. Jackson Kimbrell and Jack Dougherty each combined for 1.1 innings with a combined one hit and one run given up while Taylor Broadway closed and came away with the loss (4-2) after a game full of drama.
Jacob Gonzalez started things off singling a 2-1 pitch up the middle and eventually found himself in scoring position after stealing second base. It paid off as Kevin Graham’s RBI single up the middle scored Gonzalez and gave Ole Miss an early 1-0 lead. Dunhurst continued the strong offensive start in the cleanup spot with Ole Miss’ third single in four batters, while a sac fly by Justin Bench scored Graham and kept the inning going with a 2-0 lead. TJ McCants looked to keep the Rebels running with the following at-bat on what appeared to be another single, but video review called McCants out at first base and ended the opening half inning abruptly.
After retiring leadoff hitter Ray Alejo, McDaniel gave up a left single to Logan Sartori before Frizzell continued his dominant series with a line drive, two-run home run to right field to tie the game at two apiece after an inning complete. Bryce Miller succeeded Nathan Dettmer on the mound after only one inning of work.
Leatherwood opened the second inning with the fourth hit of the game for Ole Miss through the right side and advanced to second on a wild pitch. He would find himself 90 feet away from home after a ground out, but Miller made it through the inning with a strikeout to Gonzalez. The Aggies were back in business in the bottom of the second with back-to-back singles and no outs. Dunhurst minimized some of the damage with a rocket to throw out Jordan Thompson at second base while McDaniel retired the next two batters to get out of the situation entirely. Miller would pitch a six-pitch, 1-2-3 third inning while Texas A&M left Sartori stranded after a single.
Bench earned a walk to start off the fourth inning and later stole second and advanced to third on a ground out. Leatherwood’s second hit of the game allowed Ole Miss to retake a 3-2 lead while the Aggies stranded another runner on base in the bottom half of the fourth.
The Rebels looked to extend their lead in the sixth inning as Dunhurst’s leadoff single allowed him reach second on a throwing error and third on a fly out to right field. Leatherwood continued his outstanding series and perfect afternoon at the plate with an RBI single to score Dunhurst and take a 4-2 lead. After retiring his second batter in the bottom half of the inning, Kimbrell was replaced by Dougherty on the mound, who retired the final two batters going into the seventh inning.
Walks issued to Calvin Harris and Peyton Chatagnier brought Chandler Jozwiak out of the Aggie bullpen with one out in the seventh. In attempt to turn a double play, a throwing error to first base allowed Harris to score and give Ole Miss a 5-2 lead going into the bottom half of the seventh. Texas A&M didn’t go away quietly, however. Mikey Hoehner hit a leadoff double to left field, bringing in Broadway out of the Rebel bullpen. Broadway recorded consecutive strikeouts before allowing Alejo and Sartori to walk, loading the bases with Frizzell at the plate. On an 0-2 pitch, Frizzell hit a glam slam to right center field to take Texas A&M’s first lead of the game, 6-5 going into the eighth inning.
Ole Miss looked primed to answer the bell after Bench and McCants reached with no outs. After a bunt by Ben Van Cleve to put runners on second and third, Tim Elko was intentionally walked and the Rebels had the bases loaded. After a defensive substitution for the Aggies, Harris grounded into a double play to end the top half of the eighth.
After a fly out and single by Thompson, home plate umpire Brandon Cooper tossed Mike Bianco from the contest. Another Aggie would reach base after a balk, but Broadway struck out Logan Britt to give Ole Miss a chance down to its final three outs. Jozwiak retired the top of the Ole Miss order to take the series.
Ole Miss now turns its attention to a second matchup with Little Rock on Tuesday, May 11, at Swayze Field. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. CT and can be seen on SEC Network+ or listened to on the Ole Miss Radio Network.
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