Ole Miss could not get going offensively in Game 1 of the Diamond Egg Bowl. Gunnar Hoglund was his usually spectacular self, giving up just 3 runs in 7 innings and racking up 9 Ks. Diamond came in to relieve him to start the 8th as he has been removed from the Sunday starter role. That decision did not work in Bianco’s favor.
Derek Diamond came into a 1 run game as a relief pitcher instead of one of the more seasoned bullpen arms. It would make much more sense to have Diamond be used in long relief at some point this weekend, not in a high leverage situation at the back end of a competitive game. Gunnar Hoglund gets tagged with the loss and the Bulldog bullpen picked up a W.
Sims picked up a nice 6 out save for MSU. Sims threw 22 pitches in this one which means that, despite the 2 innings of work, he isn’t totally unavailable for a save opportunity if tomorrow’s game provides one. That’s bad news for the Rebs who looked baffled against him tonight.
Kevin Graham needed to stay hot at the plate for the Rebels to have a chance in this one. He struck out twice in his 0-3 performance. He did, however, draw a walk to load the bases in the 3rd (the inning the Rebels have the most damage in all year), but Hayden Dunhurst struck out to end the inning because that’s just what the Elko-less Rebel lineup does with the bases loaded. A strike ’em out throw ‘em out, 4-6-3, and a 6U double play stifled all of the Rebels’ other attempts to come back in this one.
A rivalry that has historically been considered one of the best in college baseball isn’t losing any of the hate, just the competitive balance. Since Ole Miss swept the Bulldogs back in 2015, little brother has gone 15-2 against the Rebels. That trend needs to be reversed this weekend if the DiamondRebs still have big post season dreams. Sitting at 8-5 in the conference right now, getting swept will erase all of the early momentum of the 6-0 start.
Game 2 will be tomorrow at 2 PM Central. Tomorrow is Doug Day. The Rebels always have a reason to be optimistic with Doug Nikhazy on the hill.