Dores drop first series of season to Ole Miss

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Ole Miss rallied for two runs in the seventh inning and held off top-ranked Vanderbilt 5-4 on Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Field to hand the Commodores their first series loss of the season.

Vanderbilt (28-9, 11-4) broke up a 3-3 game in the bottom of the sixth on Tyler Campbell’s sacrifice fly to left field but the lead was short-lived. Back out for his second inning of work, Tyler Ferguson immediately found trouble with a leadoff walk to Will Golsan that was followed by a single from J.B. Woodman. After a fly out, Ferguson issued his second free pass of the inning to load the bases and send the Commodores back to the bullpen. Freshman Collin Snider entered with a one-run lead, the bases loaded and one out and looked to have done his job with Errol Robinson’s chopper to first, but Zander Wiel lost the high hop in the sun and the ball bounced just fair over the first base bag into shallow right field to score two runs and put Ole Miss (18-18, 7-8) back on top. Snider got the Dores out of the inning with a double play the very next batter to keep the deficit at one run.

The Vandy offense, however, could not answer the call over the final three innings getting just two runners on the base paths. Ro Coleman’s two-out single in the ninth put the tying run on base but Rhett Wiseman grounded out to second to end the game.

The Commodores took an early lead in the first inning on Dansby Swanson’s seventh home run of the season. The junior’s solo shot tied him with Wiseman for the team lead. The Rebels’ quickly answered with three runs in the second inning as VU starter Jordan Sheffield lost control issuing two walks, hitting a batter and allowing three hits. Sheffield’s day came to a close after he walked the leadoff hitter in the third for his fourth walk of the game.

Vanderbilt battled back with an RBI-double from Jason Delay in the second and Bryan Reynolds’ RBI-single in the third tied the game. Reynolds led the Commodores with his 11th two-hit game of the season. Coleman’s ninth inning single pushed his hitting streak to 10 games.

Ferguson took the loss for the Dores allowing two runs on one hit and three walks over 1.1 innings of relief. Lefties Ryan Johnson and Ben Bowden combined for five scoreless frames out of the pen. The VU pitching staff benefited from four double plays on the afternoon, matching the school record last done in 2002 against LSU.

Ole Miss starter Will Stokes picked up his first win of the year with six innings of work. The right-hander allowed four runs on seven hits with four strikeouts. Jacob Waguespack notched his first save with a scoreless ninth.

The Commodores return to action on Tuesday night at home against crosstown rival Belmont at 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network+.