It wasn’t a very long outing for starting pitcher Doug Nikhazy, but Ole Miss baseball started out its 2021 campaign on the right foot, picking up a 7-3 win over TCU in Arlington.
Nikhazy made it to the second inning before things kind of fell apart for the Rebel ace as he walked in three runs. Fortunately, Ole Miss had a big top half of the frame and held a 4-3 lead after two. That big frame came when Ben Van Cleve hit a two-run double followed by Hayden Dunhurst and Trey LaFleur coming through at the plate after him.
Still, the Rebels held a 4-3 lead, and the scoreboard looked like that for a long time as we all sat anxiously waiting on something to happen. And happen something did.
In the seventh, our hip-waggling son Peyton Chatagnier came through with a two-RBI double that gave the good guys a 6-3 lead. A bad pickoff attempt extended it to 7-3 in the ninth.
The biggest story from Saturday, however, was the tenacity of the bullpen. The Rebel relievers (Jackson Kimbrell, Drew McDaniel and Taylor Broadway) came through in a big way after Nikhazy’s shaky outing. Hopefully they won’t have to do that much when Doug is on the hill this season, but it’s good to know that you’ve got some filth in the pen you can turn to when things do go awry. Throwing 7.1 scoreless innings against the No. 10 team in the country is a big deal, and we’re just fine with it.
The Rebels will continue their journey through the College Baseball Showdown tomorrow when they play No. 3 Texas Tech Red Raiders at 3 p.m.