Ole Miss Baseball Drops Road Midweek at Louisiana Tech

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 18, 2021

RUSTON, La. — In No. 4 Ole Miss baseball’s first true road matchup of the 2021 season, little went the Rebels’ way as they dropped their first midweek matchup 13-1 against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Tuesday evening.

Josh Mallitz (1-1) went four innings on the mound and gave up four hits and three runs, all of which occurred in the first inning. Offensively, the Rebels tallied six hits while stranding nine on base. Kevin Graham managed to get a third of them, going 2-for-4 at the plate with a run scored. Despite four other Rebels recording a hit, they were victimized throughout the night by Cade Gibson on the mound, who in allowed just one run on five hits over 7.1 innings pitched.

Gibson made quick work of Peyton Chatagnier and Justin Bench on the mound before Graham found the base path via single. However, Tim Elko’s deep shot to left field was caught at the warning track, ending the opening frame.

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The Bulldogs responded by drawing first blood after just six pitches. After a leadoff double by Taylor Young, Hunter Wells allowed him to score with an RBI double and take an early 1-0 lead. They weren’t done. Parker Bates followed that up with a third consecutive double, putting runners on second and third with no outs. Steele Netterville hit yet another double and extending Louisiana Tech’s lead to 3-0. Despite the rough skid, Mallitz battled his way through the inning and prevented further damage.

After a rough first inning, Mallitz settled in, retiring eight straight Bulldog batters at one point and working the final three innings of his outing without allowing another run. The Rebels found themselves in scoring position for the first time in the fifth after Gonzalez got beaned and a Knox Loposer single to center field. On a 3-2 pitch, Gibson retired the side by striking out Chatagnier.

Logan Savell made his first appearance of the season coming out of the bullpen in the bottom half of the inning. The Bulldogs again used a streak of hits and extended their lead 4-0 following an RBI single by Bates that scored Young. Austin Miller quickly succeeded Savell on the mound, but the Bulldogs kept on the gas. Manny Garcia’s RBI double and Ben Brantley’s two-RBI single kept the bleeding going and opened up a 7-0 Bulldog lead. A double play ended the inning.

Graham got his second hit of the game to begin the sixth inning with a one-out double down the right field line. He later got Ole Miss on the board for the first time on a Ben Van Cleve RBI single to cut into the large deficit.

Cody Adcock started the bottom half of the inning on the mound and gave up a leadoff single to Kyle Hasler. After a fielding error and walk issued to Wells, the Bulldogs had the bases loaded and one out. Hitting then proved to once again be contagious for the Bulldogs as Netterville’s two-RBI single, Wells’ run on a passed ball and Manny Garcia’s RBI double gave Ole Miss its largest deficit of the season at 11-1. Brandon Johnson came out of the Rebel bullpen and struck out the side of the sixth. Tech would not be denied the rest of the way, adding two more runs and Casey Ouellette closing the door on the mound.

The Rebels will now look to rebound this weekend as they begin SEC play hosting the Auburn Tigers. Friday’s 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.

Quick Hits
⁃ The Rebels fall to 13-4 on the year and dropped their first midweek contest of the season
⁃ Ole Miss drops to 27-12 all-time against Louisiana Tech
⁃ Kevin Graham reached base for the 10th consecutive game with a single in the first inning
⁃ Jacob Gonzalez and Tim Elko reached base for the 12th consecutive game, tying a team high this season
⁃ Logan Savell made his first appearance on the mound after coming out of the bullpen in the fifth inning
⁃ The 13 runs scored on Ole Miss are the most since the 2019 Fayetteville Super Regional finale against Arkansas (June 10, 2019)