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Oxford, Mississippi

Baker's big day keys lopsided win for No. 6 Ole Miss

22 days ago
Ole Miss Athletics
Photo: Ole Miss Athletics

OXFORD, Miss. - Cael Baker went 4-for-4 at the plate with a career-high six RBI and set the tone early as No. 6 Ole Miss (25-8, 8-4 SEC) used seven innings to put away the Austin Peay Governors 13-1 at Swayze Field on Tuesday.

Along with Baker's career day, three other Rebels recorded multiple hits. Jacob Gonzalez finished 3-for-4 with two RBI while Peyton Chatagnier and TJ McCants each recorded two hits with a combined three runs.

On the mound, Tyler Myers (W 3-1) went three innings while giving up two hits and the only Austin Peay run. The Ole Miss bullpen consisting of Jack Dougherty, Cody Adcock and Brandon Johnson gave up a combined two hits and struck out 10 batters. Five of those came from Dougherty in his collegiate debut facing six batters. The pitching staff was tested early, but settled in and cruised the rest of the way.

Gino Avros hit a high moon-shot in the air to left field that kept carrying out of the ballpark on the second pitch of the game. Just like that, the Governors drew first blood, 1-0. Myers responded by retiring the next three batters, ending the top of the opening frame.

Gonzalez and Chatagnier each singled their first pitch while Kevin Graham walked, loading the bases with no outs. After a pair of strikeouts, Sebastian Martinez was one pitch away from erasing all the damage. However, Baker brought them all home with an RBI double that gave Ole Miss a 3-1 lead after an inning complete.

The Governors had their leadoff man Jack Alexander aboard to begin the second inning after a throwing error, but a fly out and double play quashed any chance to put another run on the board. After a one-hit top of the third inning, Tucker Weaver came out of the Governor bullpen and recorded two outs before giving up a single to Hayden Dunhurst. McCants followed that up with a single of his own to put runners at the corners. Baker brought runners home yet again with a three-run home run to left center field to give the Rebels a 6-1 lead and Baker a career-high six RBI and second homer of the season.

Dougherty made his collegiate debut to begin the fourth inning and started out in style, going 1-2-3 through the Austin Peay order, including a pair of strikeouts. The Rebel offense followed that up with getting Knox Loposer and John Rhys Plumlee aboard with a single and walk, respectively. A Gonzalez single scored Loposer while Plumlee scored on a wild pitch. Another Rebel single courtesy of Chatagnier forced Greg Norman to come out of the Governor bullpen still no outs. Gonzalez also came across before a double play ended the inning with the Rebels having a 9-1 lead going into the fifth, where Dougherty struck out three consecutive batters to punctuate his stellar debut.

In the bottom half of the fifth, Baker hit a one-out single and later scored thanks to a Hayden Leatherwood RBI single. The Rebels had the bases loaded after Loposer reached on a botched pop up and Plumlee singled to left field. Matt McMagrann was brought in to minimize the damage out of the bullpen but only lasted one pitch after being hit in the ankle area on a line drive hit by Gonzalez. Leatherwood scored on the play to make it a 11-1 Rebel lead with the bases still loaded. New Austin Peay pitcher Nick Wellman gave up a sacrifice fly by Chatagnier that scored Loposer, ending the scoring in the fifth with Ole Miss having a 12-1 lead.

Adcock succeeded Dougherty on the mound and recorded three strikeouts despite two Governor hits. Peyton Jula became the seventh Austin Peay pitcher in the bottom of the sixth and gave up back-to-back hits to McCants and Baker. A sac fly by Leatherwood brought McCants across while Johnson recorded the final three outs and triggered the run rule.

The Rebels now await a trip to Starkville on April 16 to take on arch rival Mississippi State in a three-game weekend series. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. CT and can be seen on SEC Network or listened to on the Ole Miss Radio Network.

Quick Hits

  • The Rebels advance to 25-8 overall, 8-1 in midweek games.
  • Ole Miss moves to 19-2 all-time against Austin Peay.
  • Kevin Graham extended his on-base streak to 26 consecutive games.
  • Jack Dougherty made his collegiate debut out of the bullpen.
  • TJ McCants and Jacob Gonzalez extended their hitting streaks to eight consecutive games, both leading the team currently. McCants has also reached base in 12 consecutive games..
  • Cael Baker had a career-high six RBI, the first Rebel to drive in six runs in a game since Thomas Dillard in the 2019 Oxford Regional against Jacksonville State (7). Baker also finished with his most hits in a game since February 15, 2020 against Louisville (4).

Up Next

The Rebels now await a trip to Starkville on April 16 to take on arch rival Mississippi State in a three-game weekend series. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. CT and can be seen on SEC Network or listened to on the Ole Miss Radio Network.