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(Photo: Ole Miss Athletics)

After two fall exhibition matchups, the defending national champs came away with a total of three six-inning wins and one tie. On Sunday, October 30, the Rebels closed exhibition play with a 3-3 draw and a 2-0 shutout win over the UAB Blazers. Peyton Chatagnier’s two-RBI single late in the first game prevented a six-inning loss.

FIRST SIX INNINGS: Ole Miss 3, UAB 3

Hunter Elliott started things off on the mound for the first six-inning affair and after retiring his first batter, issued a 3-2 pitch walk to John Marc Mullins. However, Elliott left Mullins stranded after striking out the side, ending the top of the frame. The Rebels responded by getting on the board first. After a four-pitch walk issued to Kemp Alderman, Ethan Lege sent him home with an RBI single to left center field, giving Ole Miss an early 1-0 lead by the end of the first inning.

Elliott gave up a two-out single to right center, but a grounder to short stranded a Blazer yet again midway through the second. On the flip side, the Rebels also added a two-out hit by Reagan Burford in the bottom half of the second, but he was caught stealing to keep the game moving.

Mitch Murrell came in to pitch for the third inning alone. Soon after giving up a 3-2 pitch walk, UAB’s John Marc Mullins blasted a two out, two-run home run into the Ole Miss bullpen in right field. That gave the Blazers a 2-1 lead. A line out to left center ended the top of the third. In attempt to respond, Tim Simay reached on a fielding error at third, stole second base, advanced to third on a fly out to center, but was stranded after a grounder to short by Calvin Harris.

Brayden Jones came to the mound to pitch for the Rebels to begin the fourth and proceeded to go 1-2-3 through the Blazer order. TJ McCants led off the bottom half of the fourth and proceeded to get on base with a four pitch walk. However, he left soon after after getting caught in no man’s land, called out at second base for the first out. John Kramer soon reached with two outs, but the Blazers got out of the inning by striking out Peyton Chatagnier and the side of the fourth.

Jack Dougherty came in to pitch to begin the fifth inning and immediately issued a 3-2 pitch walk. With one out, the aforementioned runner took second base. After a pop up to shallow right field, Dougherty surrendered an RBI single to left field to make it a two-run lead. A strikeout kept the first six-inning game going. Will Furniss and Will Plattner proceeded to go down before Mason Morris came on board with a two-out walk. However, the Blazers froze James Smith to preserve the lead going into the final inning of the first game.

Dougherty proceeded to mow through UAB to end up with a 1-2-3 inning at the top of the sixth. Christian Clark closed the deal for the Blazers on the mound. Leadoff man Ethan Groff reached second on a double to right field. Clark struck out Fink for the first out, before TJ McCants grounded out to second and moved Groff over to third base. Clark issued a walk to Judd Utermark, before Banks Tolley came in to pinch run for him. Clark proceeded to bean John Kramer, and Ben Abernathey came out of the bullpen to pitch to Peyton Chatagnier with the bases loaded and two outs. Chatagnier delivered a clutch single to left field to tie the game with two on base and Will Furniss at the plate. On a 3-1 pitch, Abernathey ended the first game with a tie.

SECOND SIX INNINGS:

To begin the second six-inning game, Xavier Rivas got the ball first and proceeded to go 1-2-3 through the UAB order with a first AB strikeout and a pair of groundouts. The Rebels responded by going down 1-2-3 as well, with a pair of groundouts and a strikeout of Kemp Alderman, retiring the side of the first.

Rivas began the second inning by beaning leadoff hitter Peyton Puckett, who proceeded to steal second base following a strikeout the previous at bat. Rivas and company got out of the inning with two more outs, the latter was on a perfectly executed run down between second and third base. Ethan Lege started the bottom half of the second with a single first base side. Lege reached second after a dribbling out by Reagan Burford. Ole Miss then drew first blood in the second game with an RBI double from Garrett Wood to knock in Lege. Then Judd Utermark singled to put runners at the corners with one out in the second. With Peyton Chatagnier in to pinch hit, an unsuccessful steal attempt on him scored Wood from third to make it a two run game. Chatagnier got caught at third for the second out, before Hudson Sapp reached after being beaned, but a strikeout kept the score 2-0 going into the third.

Grayson Saunier started off the third on the mound and took care of the first two batters he faced before issuing a two-out walk. However, he got out of the inning with a strikeout. In the bottom half of the inning, Calvin Harris delivered a two-out double, but Kemp Alderman grounded out to second to end the inning.

On the first pitch of the inning, Saunier gave up a leadoff single. That was followed up by a strikeout, 4-6 groundout and a throw ’em out from Kemp Alderman to Bo Gatlin at second base. Offensively Ole Miss proceeded to go 1-2-3 through Will Furniss, Bo Gatlin and Garrett Wood.

JT Quinn started things for Ole Miss on the mound in the fifth and took care of business, going 1-2-3 through UAB’s order. Ole Miss went down similarly, going down 1-2-3 with consecutive strikeouts and a groundout. Josh Mallitz closed the deal for the Rebels on the mound and delivered a couple strikeouts. With three more outs to work with at the plate, Will Plattner added a single to left field. Two ABs later, Calvin Harris added a single of his own at the end of the night.



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