Diamond Rebs head to Hattiesburg after big weekend

Posted on May 1 2019 - 5:00am by Jade Richardson

The Ole Miss baseball team will face the Southern Miss Golden Eagles in a midweek matchup Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg.

The Golden Eagles sit at 29-13 on the season and 17-4 in C-USA conference play, and they are on an impressive eight-game win streak with series sweeps over Charlotte and Middle Tennessee to go with midweek victories over Louisiana-Lafayette and New Orleans.

In early April, the two teams faced off at Trustmark Park in Pearl, and the Rebels cruised to an 11-2 win thanks to an offensive explosion in the final three innings.

In the sixth, pitcher Sean Tweedy issued three straight walks to load the bases for Cole Zabowski, who tied the game by grounding into a fielder’s choice to plate two runners.

Kevin Graham then put Ole Miss ahead, reaching on an error to bring home Tyler Keenan. Knox Loposer followed up with a double off the left-center wall to break the game open. Chase Cockrell then roped an RBI single down the left field line to make it 6-2 at the end of the inning.

Over the next three innings, the Rebels tacked on five more insurance runs and the Rebel pitchers kept the Golden Eagles at bay.

Zack Phillips started on the bump for the Rebels before giving way to Austin Miller, Tyler Myers and Gunnar Hoglund. The bullpen trio held the Golden Eagles to just two hits over the final 3.5 innings to clutch the victory.

Since their victory in Pearl, the Rebels have struggled with consistency, dropping games to Kentucky, Auburn and Mississippi State.

However, things are looking up for the Rebels after they secured their second SEC series sweep of the season against the No. 6 Texas A&M Aggies with two walk-off victories.

After ripping the game-winning RBI single through the gap in the 11th inning of Thursday night’s game, Thomas Dillard once again came through for the Rebels in game three. In the bottom of the ninth, Dillard slid into home on a wild pitch to finish the 3-2 victory.

Ole Miss pitcher Doug Nikhazy pitches the ball on Friday night against A&M. Photo by Reed Jones.

Game three also marked shortstop Grae Kessinger’s 33rd consecutive game in which he reached base safely. The junior from Oxford is also on a seven-game hitting streak and is batting .359 on the season. The only Rebel that tops Kessinger’s average is Ryan Olenek, swinging the bat for a .367 average.

With the sweep, the Rebels improved to 30-15 on the season and 13-8 against SEC opponents. Now, the Rebels sit at third in the SEC West behind the Arkansas Razorbacks (15-6) and the Mississippi State Bulldogs (13-8).