No. 6 Ole Miss handled Austin Peay easily in their midweek game on Tuesday after seven innings.
The Rebels were coming off of a series loss to Arkansas, their second SEC series loss this season. The series loss knocked them out of the top 5 rankings for the first time this season.
For their first game after the heartbreaking loss to Arkansas, Ole Miss dominated the visiting Governors. Senior Tyler Myers got the start against Austin Peay and pitched three innings, giving up one run that came from a solo home run. Following Myers, freshman pitcher Jack Dougherty made his collegiate debut. Dougherty struck out five of the six batters he faced and looks to be a key member of the bullpen for years to come.
“It’s a great story and it happens like that sometimes. You just don’t know how you’re going to use them,” Bianco said. “Hand it to (Dougherty), just proud of him. He’s put on weight in the weight room. He’s continued to work hard.”
The Austin Peay Governors were the first to get on the board with a solo home run into left field on the second pitch of the game. Myers wasted no time with his response and quickly ended the inning with three straight strikeouts. The Rebels were then up to bat, scoring three runs in the first inning to retake the lead.
The shining offensive star of the game was senior Cael Baker. Baker went 4-for-4 on the night, with a career-high six RBIs. Baker also had a home run against the Governors. Following the game, Bianco remarked on Baker’s improvements with being on time with his fastballs and staying productive even with two strikes.
“Really just been working on tracking the ball,” Baker said. “It’s been up and down, but it was nice to get out there (and) play.”
Freshmen Jacob Gonzalez and TJ McCants, and sophomore Peyton Chatagnier were a huge help with the 13-1 win over the Governors. Gonzalez finished 3-for-4 on the day and added two RBIs. McCants and Chatagnier continued their dominance at the plate, each adding two hits. Gonzalez and McCants extended their hitting streak to 12 consecutive games. Junior Kevin Graham also extended his on-base streak to a consecutive 26 games.
The Rebels will take on Mississippi State in Starkville this weekend with a change to their pitching lineup. Sophomore Drew McDaniel will replace sophomore Derek Diamond for the third game of the series.