Despite late game heroics from catcher Hayden Dunhurst, the Rebels fell to Tennessee on Sunday afternoon 4-3. The No. 5 Vols got the sweep over No. 1 Ole Miss and it’s going to be a long road back to the top.
After losing to Tennessee by a wide margin in the first two games of the series, Ole Miss managed to keep game three a little closer. Derek Diamond had a great showing given the dominating Vol offense, going for 4.2 innings and giving up three runs. While not perfect, it was enough to at least keep the game somewhat close. However, during Diamond’s time on the mound, the Rebels offense could not figure out Tennessee’s pitcher and were unable to get on the board early.
The most exciting action of the weekend came in the eighth inning after Kemp Alderman singled to get on base. Hayden Leatherwood then had a base hit of his own to bring a little life back into Swayze. In arguably his best moment of the season this far, Dunhurst sent a rocket into the student section queuing the showers and sucking all of us back in. Avoiding the sweep now looked feasible as Ole Miss was sitting at 4-3. Following him, Jacob Gonzalez looked like he had just tied it up with another homerun, but it was just outside the line landing foul. The inning ended shortly after, putting the Vols back at the plate.
Heading into the ninth inning, we were all holding our breath hoping reliever Brandon Johnson would be able to hold off this fiery Tennessee offense for just one more inning. Johnson gave up a single to start the inning off, but was able to control it and give the Rebs one last shot. At the bottom of the ninth, Reagan Burford kicked off the inning with a base hit on the first pitch he saw. Unfortunately, three strikeouts later, the Rebels ended any comeback hopes and fell to 2-4 in the SEC.