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Ole Miss defeated Georgia 8-7



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Story from Ole Miss Athletics:
OXFORD, Miss. –
Ole Miss walked it off against Georgia Sunday afternoon at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field for an 8-7 victory to claim the series.

The Rebels won 7-3 on Friday night, and the Bulldogs won 7-3 on Saturday afternoon.

In the bottom of the ninth inning on Sunday, after the Bulldogs had scored two runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game at 7-7, a TJ McCants single scored pinch-runner Judd Utermarkfrom third base in a close play at the plate. And the Rebels had won the game and taken the series.

Ole Miss is now 23-21 on the season and 5-16 in the Southeastern Conference. The Bulldogs fell to 24-20 overall and 8-13 in the league.

Ole Miss hosts Arkansas-Little Rock on Tuesday at 11 a.m., then travels to Missouri for a Thursday through Saturday series against the Tigers. Ole Miss and Missouri are tied in SEC play heading into the month of May.

For starters in this one, it was the pitching of Grayson Saunier that led the way for Ole Miss. The freshman right-hander went six complete innings, allowing just one earned run on two hits with six strikeouts and no free passes, facing 20 Bulldog batters along the way.

The final pitcher for the Rebels, Jack Dougherty, who had taken over for reliever Mason Nichols in the seventh, got the win and is 3-3 on the season.

After Saunier got the Bulldogs out quickly one, two, three in the top of the first inning, the Rebels got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first. A two-run homer by the second batter in the Rebels’ lineup, Ethan Lege, put Ole Miss up 2-0 after Jacob Gonzalez had gotten aboard with a leadoff walk.

Georgia cut the lead in half in the top of the fourth on a solo home run by Charlie Condon. But the Rebels bounced back to lead 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run homer by Gonzalez after Peyton Chatagnier reached first on a fielder’s choice and McCants was already aboard after a hit by pitch.

In the sixth inning, Ole Miss increased its lead to four runs as the Rebels got their third homer of the day when Chatagnier launched one to make it 5-1.

That’s when Nichols relieved Saunier to start the seventh. Georgia got two straight singles, then scored a run on an error, and Nichols departed for Dougherty. After the bases were loaded with two outs, Dougherty got Mason LaPlante to fly out to center field to move the game to the bottom of the seventh. Ole Miss led 5-2. That’s when things were about to get even more interesting.

The Bulldogs rallied in the top of the eighth with three runs to tie the score 5-5. However, Ole Miss then answered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the eighth for a 7-5 lead on RBI singles by Lege and Kemp Alderman.

Georgia’s Sebastian Murillo walked to lead off the Bulldog ninth. LePlante reached on a fielder’s choice, and Ben Anderson tied the game 7-7 with a home run to right. Dougherty worked his way through with no more damage, and the Rebels were back up to bat.

A one-out single by Anthony Calarco got things going, and that’s when Utermark came in to pinch run. He advanced to second on a wild pitch from Bulldog reliever Leighton Finley and Will Furnisswas intentionally walked. McCants then singled to score the winning run from second base.

Lege was 3-for-5 with three RBI to pace the Rebels, while Chatagnier was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Alderman was 2-for-5 with an RBI, and Gonzalez was 1-for-3 with two RBI.

Georgia used eight pitchers in the contest. Finley (2-1), the last one on the mound, got the loss. Ole Miss had 11 hits in the game to eight for the Bulldogs.

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