OXFORD – Hayden Dunhurst's bases-clearing double in the second inning started an Ole Miss comeback in game one of the regular-season final series at Swayze Field Thursday night. But it was Texas A&M that went on to win 10-5.
Rebel starter Dylan DeLucia had a tough time early in this one, as the Aggies (34-16, 18-10 SEC) scored three runs in the first and two more in the second before Jack Dougherty entered with two outs in the second and the bases loaded.
Dougherty gave up two runs after entering. Ryan Targac singled to left, scoring Austin Bost who had walked and Brett Minnich who had reached on a Rebel error.
The seven-run lead was going to be difficult to overcome against the highly-ranked Aggies, but the Rebels (31-20, 13-15 SEC) chipped away and got close.
In the bottom of the second with two outs, Hayden Leatherwood reached on a wild pitch after a strikeout. A single by TJ McCants followed as well as a walk by Peyton Chatagnier to set things up for Dunhurst. The Rebel catcher cleared the bases with a double to left center, and Ole Miss had new life, down just 7-3.
As Dougherty continued to work, Ole Miss added another run to close the gap a bit more. In the fourth, after Dunhurst singled to right, Justin Bench launched a triple to right center that got Dunhurst across the plate.
Rebel pitchers continued to keep the Aggies at bay. Mason Nichols came in for Dougherty in the fifth with a couple of Aggies aboard and one out. Nichols was able to get back-to-back strikeouts by Dylan Rock and Bost.
Chatagnier led off the Rebel sixth with a single and later scored on a Bench single to cut into the lead. Ole Miss was now down just two runs at 7-5 and well within striking distance.
However, the Aggies expanded the lead by scoring in the eighth inning, their first runs since the second inning.
Bost singled to start the eighth, and John Gaddis came in to pitch for Nichols. After Bost got to third on a Minnich base hit, he was able to score on a popup down the right field line by Thompson that was caught by Chatagnier.
In the ninth, Texas A&M added two with back-to-back homers from Jack Moss and Rock. After those runs, Max Cioffi came in to pitch for the Rebels.
Trailing by five runs, Ole Miss wasn't able to get anything across in the bottom of the ninth, and ending the game.
The Rebels and Aggies will return to Swayze Field on Friday, facing off in game two at 7 p.m.