GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Rebels got off to a quick start, but it was the Gators who surged to the finish as Ole Miss (24-18, 9-10 SEC) fell to No. 4 Florida (32-10, 15-4 SEC) by a score of 9-3 in the series opener on Friday night at McKethan Stadium.
Matt Crouse (6-3) took the loss as he allowed six runs on nine hits with two walks and a strikeout in 4.0 innings of work.
Hudson Randall (8-1) picked up the win for the Gators as he allowed three runs on six hits with six strikeouts in 7.1 innings of work.
“It was their night offensively for sure,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “They were locked in. They got a lot of hits, but not a lot of extra-base hits early which is why we were able to keep things in check until they extended the lead late. Defensively they make all the plays and don’t allow you opportunities.”
Alex Yarbrough got things started for the Rebels when he hit his fifth home run of the season, a solo shot to right center, to put Ole Miss on the board in the first inning.
The Gators got a run back in the bottom of the inning, using a bases loaded sac fly on a foul ball to right from Austin Maddox to drive in a run. Crouse got another foul fly to end the inning and leave the game tied at one after the first inning of play.
A two-out rally in the second inning put the Gators in the lead when Vikash Ramjit scored on a single to left from Bryson Smith. Ramjit doubled with two outs in the previous at bat to set up the score on the Smith hit that gave the Gators the lead.
Ole Miss got the run back in the top of the third when Austin Anderson led things off with a double before a sac bunt from Blake Newalu and a sac fly to right from Tanner Mathis brought the freshman home to tie the score at two.
Florida again moved back into the lead in the third inning, using a sac fly from Brian Johnson with men at the corners to push Preston Tucker home. Tucker walked before moving to third on a single from Austin Maddox to set up the score on the Johnson fly out that put Florida up 3-2.
The Gators added to the lead in the fourth inning, using a two-RBI single from Mike Zunnino to move out to a 5-2 lead on the Rebels. A double and a hit batter started things off before a sac bunt put both Gators in scoring position with one out. Zunnino then came up with his single – his first hit ever against the Gators – to drive in both base runners. Ole Miss got back-to-back pop outs to end the inning down three.
Austin Anderson came up with a two-out home run in the fifth inning to get a run back for the Rebels. It was the first home run of his career for the freshman from Florida as Ole Miss cut the lead to 5-3 against the Gators.
A home run from Brian Johnson opened the bottom of the fifth for the Gators to put the home team back on top by three at 6-3. The Rebels would then turn to the bullpen for Eric Callender to relieve starter Matt Crouse. Three straight singles loaded the bases, but Callender was able to retire the next three batters to keep the Rebels within three of the Gators.
Florida added a run in the seventh and two runs in the eighth to push the lead out to 9-3.
The Rebels got two men on in the top of the ninth, but couldn’t get a rally from there as Florida claimed the series opener. The two teams return to action on Saturday at 6 p.m. at McKethan Stadium.
On the transition as new hitting coach: The transition has been really good. The coaching staff has made it a lot easier on me than what it could be. It's definitely been a whirlwind. On what he knew about Ole... read more
UPDATE: Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.Here are more of Coach Freeze's interviews in Bristol. Scroll down to the earlier post to hear him on Ivan Maisel's podcast. Listen: Freeze on the Paul Finebaum Show Listen: Freeze on the Freddie Coleman ShowListen:... read more
All 14 Southeastern Conference football coaches will travel to ESPN's annual mid-summer football coaches "car wash" - in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day - at ESPN's Bristol, Conn., headquarters on Monday and Tuesday. Ole... read more
Ole Miss took its turn at the annual SEC Media Days on Thursday. Joining head coach Hugh Freeze was senior quarterback Bo Wallace, junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and senior safety Cody Prewitt. Here are a few related SEC Media... read more
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said on day one that his expectations were to make the program relevant in the Southeastern Conference Western Division. With a full allotment of 85 scholarship players and more depth of both sides of... read more
Once overshadowed, Wallace now finds himself more firmly in the spotlight after the departure of seven of the league's eight top passers. The dean of SEC quarterbacks, Wallace is the league's leading returner in total offense, passing yards and passing... read more
Before taking his turn at the podium in the main room at SEC Media Days on Thursday, head coach Hugh Freeze met with members of the Ole Miss local media and addressed a wide variety of topics. Here are some... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Three of SEC Media Days, which featured Steve Shaw (SEC), Justin Connolly (ESPN),... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Two of SEC Media Days, which featured South Carolina, Mississippi State, Texas A&M... read more
NFL.com CFB 24/7 has counted down the 14 college football players to watch -- and some other college football topics -- in varying categories in 2014. Below are the highlights for Ole Miss and the link to the complete 14... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day 1 of SEC Media Days, which featured SEC commissioner Mike Slive, Auburn, Florida... read more
Former Ole Miss player Zack Cozart, now a member of the Cincinnati Reds, was named the best defensive shortstop in baseball for the first half of the 2014 season. ESPN Insider Scott Spratt selected one player from either league at... read more
The Season: Ole Miss Baseball: Omaha Bound from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 1: Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 2: Super Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 3: CWS Games 1 & 2... read more
Three student-athletes and the head coach of each of the 14 Southeastern Conference football programs will participate in SEC Football Media Days, July 14-17, at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala.Ole Miss will take its... read more