Ole Miss traveled to Houston this weekend participating in the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic. Facing a trio of top-20 teams, including No. 1 ranked Texas Christian University, the No. 8 Rebels looked at home amongst elite competition but ultimately returned home with three losses.
The Rebels kicked off the weekend with a matchup against No. 17 Baylor. The previously undefeated Bears (10-1 after the weekend) blanked Ole Miss 4-0 and held head coach Mike Bianco’s men to just two hits. Left-handed pitcher David Parkinson got the start on Friday and conceded three runs off seven hits before Andy Pagnozzi replaced him for a career-high four innings. The Bears capitalized on a missed catch and collision at the plate to score the first of two runs during the second inning and then followed that with runs in the fourth and sixth. Baylor went with righty ace Nick Lewis for seven innings before turning things over to Kyle Hill, who finished out the final two.
Next up on the schedule was No. 10 Texas Tech. Hoping to rebound from Friday’s loss, Bianco’s team rattled its bats for seven hits but fell to the Masked Raiders by a score of 5-1. James McArthur, a 6-foot-7 right-handed sophomore, got the start and kept Texas Tech hitless until the fifth inning. Off the back of a failed pick-off attempt, the Rebels conceded an unearned run in the third and then, after a pair of errors in the sixth, gave up two more unearned runs to make the score 3-0. Right-hander Ryan Rolison took over for McArthur in the sixth inning and, after conceding two runs from three hits, got replaced by Houston Roth in the eighth. Tate Blackman and Ryan Olenek tried to ignite the Rebel offense in the eighth inning with back-to-back doubles, good enough for a run, but Tech’s starter Steven Gingery escaped before handing the mound over to Jose Quezada, who closed the game out.
Texas Christian University fought off a late comeback attempt to defeat Ole Miss 5-3 on Sunday. Brady Feigl, a righty from Chesterfield, Missouri, got the nod from Bianco and pitched a perfect first inning. The Horned Frogs, however, quickly figured Feigl out and posted three runs in the second. After a solo shot in the fourth, TCU added a fifth run in the fifth inning before Ole Miss turned to the bullpen. Will Ethridge, a freshman right hander, took over and pitched two perfect innings before sophomore Dallas Woolfolk closed out the final two innings without conceding a hit. Offensively, the Rebels struggled mightily until the eighth inning. Blackman drove in Bryce Blaum, and Colby Bortles went deep with a two run shot, his third of the year, but their efforts weren’t enough. Closer Durbin Feltman went three up, three down and got the win for TCU.
Ole Miss returns to Oxford for a three-game series against Georgia State this week.