OXFORD, Miss. -- The No. 21 Ole Miss baseball team suffered its first loss of the season, falling 4-0 to No. 2 Louisville at Swayze Field. After the Rebels (5-1) claimed game one of the to hand the Cardinals (5-1) their first loss of 2016, Louisville returned the favor Saturday afternoon.
Despite the setback, the Ole Miss faithful helped to keep Swayze Field one of the best atmospheres in college baseball by setting a season high in attendance. Today's crowd marked the fourth largest in Swayze Field history with a total of 10,561 fans cheering on the Rebels.
Louisville starting pitcher Brendan McKay (2-0) limited the Ole Miss bats by tossing a three-hit shutout. The right hander faced just one hitter over the minimum, putting together a tip-your-cap performance.
At the plate, sophomore Tate Blackman extended his hitting streak to six straight games. Junior Chad Smith (0-1) had a quality start on the mound and tossed a total of seven innings, going through the first five without a run scored.
Smith was able to throw five clean innings before a couple of Rebel miscues allowed Louisville to score the first run of the game in the top of the sixth inning. Nick Solak reached first base on a fielding error before another error allowed the Cardinal to remain on base and later cross the plate.
The contest remained a pitchers' duel through seven innings until Louisville added three insurance runs in the top of the eighth. A pair of hits to start the inning forced Smith out of the game, and two more base knocks increased the UL lead to four.
Louisville looked to increase its cushion in the ninth, but Dallas Woolfolk entered the game with a pair of Cardinals in scoring position and no outs. However, the freshman was able to get of the jam without allowing a run to cross the plate.
The Rebel loss evened the series between the two ranked teams, setting up a rubber match for Sunday. Ole Miss and Louisville face off one last time for game three at 1:30 p.m. Sean Johnson will toe the rubber for the Rebels, while Louisville will counter with southpaw Drew Harrington. As always, fans can tune into the action on SEC Network+ and the WatchESPN app.