HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The No. 22 Ole Miss baseball team closed out a four-game road trip Wednesday night, March 4, dropping a 5-1 decision to Southern Miss at Pete Taylor Park. The Golden Eagles (7-4-1) used a four-run sixth inning to help propel them past the Rebels (6-5).
Ole Miss out-hit USM, 5-4, with five different Rebels recording base hits. Designated hitter Holt Perdzock's single knocked in a run, and Will Golsan went opposite field for a base knock in his first career start as a Rebel. The 3-4-5 hitters in the lineup also found openings in the Southern Miss defense as J.B. Woodman, Sikes Orvis and Colby Bortles rounded out the hitting for the Rebels.
Sophomore Evan Anderson (1-1) allowed three runs on three hits and three walks over five innings. Finishing the game, a pair of Rebels made their Ole Miss debuts and they did not disappoint. Junior college transfer Mitchel Babb pitched a scoreless seventh inning, while freshman John Wesley Ray retired the side in the eighth. As a staff, six different Rebels combined to hold Southern Miss to just four hits throughout the contest.
For the Golden Eagles, starting pitcher Cord Cockrell (1-0) went seven innings and surrendered one run on five hits. Jake Winston pitched two scoreless innings to end the game.
Southern Miss started the scoring in the bottom of the second as the Golden Eagles picked up one run. After retiring the first four batters of the ballgame, Anderson issued a one-out walk before a chopper down the third base line put runners on second and third with one out. A sacrifice fly to left allowed the runner on third to cross the plate, but Anderson limited the damage by getting a strikeout to end the inning with the Rebels only trailing by one.
The Golden Eagles tried to increase their lead one inning later, but Golsan made sure that would not happen. Making his first career start as a Rebel, the freshman second baseman robbed USM of a base hit that could have scored a run. Golsan started the double play, and the turn was capped off by a great pick by Orvis at first base. The quick turn ended the threat and kept the deficit to a single run. Two USM runners reached to start the fourth inning, but once again Golsan led another double play and Orvis took care of a groundout himself to help Anderson get out of the inning unscathed.
In the bottom of the sixth, Southern Miss broke through with four more runs to take a 5-0 lead. A walk and a single forced Anderson out of the ballgame, and Jacob Waguespack entered the contest out of the bullpen. However, Matt Durst doubled to right field to knock in a teammate. The USM designated hitter scored on the following at bat alongside another Golden Eagle after a flyball to deep center field. A sacrifice fly scored an additional run before Drake Robison got back-to-back outs to finish the inning.
Ole Miss cut into the deficit with a run in the top of the seventh. Orvis beat out an infield hit with one out before advancing to second on a groundout. Perdzock followed with a two-out RBI to right center to plate Orvis, but he was thrown out at second trying to stretch his single to a double.
After four straight games on the road, Ole Miss will return to venerable Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field for a weekend series against the Hatters of Stetson University, March 6-8.