Ole Miss Suffers One-Run Defeat to Georgia

By Brian Scott Rippee, Ole MissSports.com

OXFORD, Miss. -- Georgia plated a run in the eighth and ninth to outlast Ole Miss in a Friday night's pitchers' duel to take Game 1 of the series, 3-2.

Rebel starter Ryan Rolison turned in an outstanding seven-inning performance. The sophomore lefty escaped a couple command miscues in the first inning in which Georgia pushed a run across. Rolison struck out six hitters and stranded nine Bulldog runners.

"Ryan was great," said sophomore shortstop Grae Kessinger. "He had everything working for him tonight and had that swagger to him where they were not going to hit him. When he is like that no one is going to touch him."

Starter Chase Adkins turned in seven innings of one-run ball for the Bulldogs, and his lone blemish came in the sixth when Kessinger punished him for an errant slider up in the zone by sending it over the left field fence to tie the game at one.

Adkins scattered four hits over his seven frames and kept Ole Miss off balance for much of the night with his off-speed stuff that complemented his fastball.

"It was a struggle," Kessinger said. "He was making pitches and throwing all of them for a strike, moving it in and out. You have to give him credit, but as an offense, we think we can hit anybody even if they have their stuff. It is frustrating but that is baseball. We have to come back out ready tomorrow."

A leadoff double in the eighth inning ended Rolison's night. The run scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly to give Georgia a 2-1 lead. A quality piece of two-strike hitting from Thomas Dillard on a high fastball pulled the score even in the eighth. His one-out base hit up the middle made good on a base hits from Ryan Olenek and Nick Fortes. Olenek went first to third with the help of a nifty slide on Fortes' base hit before Dillard knotted up the game with the third consecutive single of the inning.

Fortes was 2-for-4 on the night and Ryan Olenek extended his SEC-best hitting streak to 17 games.

Parker Caracci grabbed the baseball in the ninth in relief of Will Ethridge, and Tucker Bradley's one-out RBI single served as the game's final blow as the Bulldogs closed out a one-run, series-opening win. Bradley was 2-5

"We just didn't play well enough," head coach Mike Bianco said. "The story is that they played a little better than us in all three phases. They pitched better than we did, hit better and fielded better than we did. It was a close, good college baseball game. Those in-game battles we were so good with early in the season make all the difference in the world in the game."

This series will conclude Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 1:30 p.m. Brady Feigl will get the baseball in game two and James McArthur will start game three.

"We will be ready," Bianco said. "The guys are ready and are anxious to get back out there."

- Ryan Olenek extended his hitting streak to 17 games, the longest active streak in the SEC and the longest of the season for Ole Miss.
- Olenek has reached base safely in 19 straight contests, tying Nick Fortes for the Rebels' longest streak in 2018.
- Olenek has gone seven straight games without striking out. He remains the toughest player to strike out in the SEC.
- Grae Kessinger's home run was his third of the year. The Oxonian has now homered in back-to-back games.
- Ryan Rolison has allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last three starts.
- Rolison has struck out six or more batters in eight of his 10 starts this season.
- Will Ethridge recorded his 10th scoreless outing this season.
- Nick Fortes notched his 10th multi-hit game this season.
- Will Golsan has hit in seven straight games.






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