The Ole Miss baseball team extended its losing streak to five after being shut out by Tennessee on Thursday night in Knoxville.
The 7-0 loss puts the Rebels in an even tougher spot when it comes to postseason chances, and unless the team can win the next two games and make a run in the SEC Tournament, hosting is out of the question.
Ole Miss now sports a 33-22 record with a 15-13 mark in the SEC.
The No. 23 Volunteers jumped on the board immediately, taking the lead in the first inning. Justin Ammons reached base on the first at-bat of the contest and Andre Lipcius knocked him in with a RBI single. The third baseman finished 3-4 with a home run and three RBIs.
Lipcius and the rest of the Volunteer lineup consistently squared up the Ole Miss pitching, spraying 13 hits all over Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Ole Miss ace Will Ethridge pitched 7.0 complete innings allowing 10 hits and six runs, five of which were earned. The loss puts Ethridge at 5-6 on the season.
Tennessee’s Garrett Stallings had the Rebel bats in check all game. The junior right-hander struck out seven and only allowed four hits in his complete game. The win gives Stallings a 8-3 record on the season with a 2.84 ERA.
Cole Zabowski, Cooper Johnson and Kevin Graham were the only Rebels able to muster any offense. Zabowski had two hits and Johnson and Graham had one each.
The only legitimate chance for Ole Miss to get on the board came in the top of the eighth inning with Graham and Johnson at the corners with no outs. Pinch hitter Justin Bench hit a grounder to Lipcius, but Johnson hesitated and stayed put at third base while the Vols were able to turn the double play. Anthony Servideo struck out looking to strand Johnson in scoring position.
The Rebels’ next two games in Knoxville are vital with postseason hopes fading away. With an No. 30 ranking in the RPI, head coach Mike Bianco and his team must light a fire in the next week to salvage what has been a disappointing season.
The Rebels will look to tie the series tonight in a left-handed battle. Doug Nikhazy will step on the mound for Ole Miss and Garrett Crochet will start for the Vols. First pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.