If hitting is contagious, Ole Miss was in a full-blown pandemic today. They managed to stroke 17 hits in a rivalry game against a top 5 team in the country. Sure, they left 12 runners on base, but the 9 runs that they pushed across were more than plenty of support for an absolutely dominant Doug Nikhazy. 12 different Rebels came to the plate in this one, and anybody who recorded an official at-bat, got a hit. The feast at the plate for the Rebels, however, pales in comparison to the performance of Doug Nikhazy on the mound.
Doug had a no-hitter intact part of the way through the 5th inning. At one point, he struck out 6 in a row and 8 of 9 batters faced. Every Bulldog starter struck out at least once against Nikhazy. When it was all said and done, Doug recorded 12 strikeouts, allowed 1 hit, and pitched a complete game shutout. Doug Nikhazy had a career day against an incredible team. His performance improves his record to 4-1 on the season and knotted up the Diamond Egg Bowl.
The bullpen will be well-rested for tomorrow’s rubber match between the bitter in-state rivals. Taylor Broadway hasn’t thrown a pitch all weekend and could be called on for an extended outing. Hopefully, the decision to move undefeated Drew McDaniel into the Sunday starter role pays off for Bianco in this all-important battle for 2nd place in the West.
Doug took his no-hitter into the 5th, but the Rebel offense took a nifty streak of their own just as far. The Rebs plated the lead-off runner in each of the first 5 frames in this game. 7 of the 9 innings that Ole Miss came to bat, they got the lead-off man on base and put pressure on the Bulldog arms. Credit the State bullpen though, they earned just 3 runs in their 6 innings of labor.
Absolutely everything was working for Ole Miss in this one. If they can carry just half of their momentum from this game into tomorrow, they might be able to steal a road series in a hostile environment. The Rebels win invoke their Powder Blue magic tomorrow at 1 PM Central as they try to crash the party on Super Bulldog Weekend.