McDaniel keeps Ole Miss’ SEC Tournament alive
HOOVER, Ala. - A phenomenal outing on the mound by Drew McDaniel and timely hitting by the Ole Miss offense was the formula for success as the No. 5 seed Rebels eliminated No. 8 seed Georgia and advanced to Friday in the SEC Tournament.
McDaniel went a career-high 6.2 innings with no runs allowed on just four hits, his first career scoreless start. The freshman out of Lafayette, Louisiana, struck out a career-high 11 batters and walked just two.
Brandon Johnson and Taylor Broadway carried the rock the rest of the way, going 2.1 IP combined to close out the shutout victory over the Bulldogs.
At the plate, it didn’t take much of an offensive explosion due to the excellent work from the Rebel arms, but Jacob Gonzalez (2-for-4, RBI), Peyton Chatagnier (2-for-4, RBI), and Kevin Graham (HR) led the pack for Ole Miss as the Rebels capitalized for four runs on seven hits.
Early in the ballgame, Kevin Graham broke the scoring seal in the bottom of the second with a no-doubt home run to right center to give the Rebels a 1-0 lead.
The Rebels added another in the second, beginning with a leadoff double to left by John Rhys Plumlee. Jacob Gonzalez plated the two-sport star on a single to right to make it a two-run Rebel advantage.
Georgia threatened in the fourth with two runners in scoring position after a hard comebacker to McDaniel resulted in an error, but the Rebel pitcher escaped the jam unscathed, striking out Bulldog catcher Fernando Gonzalez to keep it 2-0.
The Rebels made it 4-0 in the second, starting with a one-out hit-by-pitch for Bench, who came around after a Gonzalez single and a Bulldog throwing error. Peyton Chatagnier then drove Gonzalez home with a single to right to extend the gap to four.
McDaniel finally exited after a new career high 6.2 IP, and his fellow first-year Rebel Brandon Johnson quickly capped the seventh and worked a likewise scoreless eighth inning, while the Rebel closer, fresh off of Tuesday’s save, handled the ninth with ease as the Rebels improved to 2-1 in the SEC Tournament.
Ole Miss advances and will play the loser of Thursday night’s Arkansas-Vanderbilt matchup in Game 14 of the SEC Tournament. First pitch is TBD but will take place 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 13, which is set for a 10 a.m. CT start. All games will be aired on SEC Network.
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