Ole Miss Sweeps Missouri for Crucial Series Win
Photo Credits: Ole Miss Athletics
Oxford, Miss. -- - With just two weeks remaining in the 2022 regular season, Ole Miss began a critical three game series with the Missouri Tigers Friday night at Swayze Field. The Rebels came in having lost their fourth consecutive SEC series and seven of their last ten games overall. The Tigers were on a three game winning streak having dispatched Mississippi State in twice in their weekend series and defeating SEMO in a midweek contest. The Rebels were just 1-8 at home in SEC play while the Tigers were 0-9 on the road. The SEC tournament was on the line with both teams in a tie for last place in the conference coming in and only 12 teams earning bids to Hoover.
On Friday, it was Kemp Alderman who led the way for the Rebels behind a 4-4 night at the plate, coming just a triple shy of the cycle. Dylan DeLucia labored in the first inning, throwing 51 pitches and giving up two runs to Missouri on an RBI single and sacrifice fly. The Rebels quickly responded however, taking a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the frame. Alderman would add a two-run home run in the fifth innings to give Ole Miss a 5-3 lead before Mizzou briefly tied the game in the sixth with a two-run shot of their own. Peyton Chatagnier gave the Rebels the lead for good in the bottom half with a solo homer, and a Kevin Graham RBI single in the seventh would be all Ole Miss needed, securing a 7-5 victory.
On Saturday night, Hunter Elliott was sensational, going seven complete innings, striking out nine Tigers while allowing just four hits and one earned run on 103 pitches. The Rebels gave him plenty of run support en route to an 8-1 victory to secure their first home SEC series victory and first series win overall since Kentucky.
Ole Miss would go for their first SEC sweep of the season on Sunday with Derek Diamond on the mound and Kevin Graham provided the fireworks. Graham was 5-5 on the day with two home runs and three RBI’s. Elko, Gonzalez, Bench and Dunhurst would drive in a run a piece and Derek Diamond went five innings and the Rebels would finish off the sweep of Missouri with a 10-2 victory. Diamond had his best outing of the season, allowing just two runs and striking out four on 68 pitches. John Gaddis finished off the final four innings for the Rebels.
Following the sweep, Ole Miss improved to 27-19 overall and 10-14 in the SEC with just two full weeks remaining in the season. The Rebels are currently in the SEC tournament, but the final two weeks won’t be a cakewalk with Southern Miss, LSU, and Arkansas State on the road before finishing the season at home against Texas A&M. The Rebels RPI currently sits at 56. Ole Miss would need to be closer to 40, as well as 13-14 SEC wins to have a chance at the NCAA tournament.
Austin Eldridge covers Ole Miss athletics for the Sidelines Sports Network, as well as being a play by play broadcaster in North Mississippi and Memphis. Twitter: @SSN_OleMiss, @AustinOnAir1021