The Rebels lost the first game 9-3 of their weekend series against the University of Missouri after Cole Bartlett, starting pitcher for the Tigers, tossed a complete game, giving up just three runs.
Ole Miss starting pitcher James McArthur started off the game by retiring the first three Tigers batters. The next two innings did not go as smoothly.
The top of the second started off with a leadoff double that was followed up by a two-run blast to left center field from Brett Bond. The next inning, Mizzou’s Connor Brumfield smoked a home run over the right field bullpen, breaking the tie and making the score 3-2.
Mizzou’s starting pitcher, Cole Bartlett, did the opposite. He started the game by letting up three consecutive singles that scored one run for the Rebels. Ryan Olenek was then thrown out attempting to steal second base, but Will Golsan easily stole home in the process. Bartlett didn’t allow another run until the bottom of the ninth.
McArthur settled in after the third inning home run and posted three consecutive scoreless innings until he was taken out for Will Stokes in the seventh inning. The Rebels got two quick outs but Alex Samples hit an RBI double for Mizzou, extending their lead by another run.
Timely hitting was an issue for the Rebels on Friday night, hitting into too many double plays and having zero extra base hits. Mizzou changed its starting pitcher a few minutes before game time, but the Rebels said they were prepared for the change.
“That’s overrated.” Coach Bianco said. “We have reports on all their pitchers and once they made the lineup change, we grabbed all the hitters in the dugout and gave them the information.”
The Rebels downplayed the last minute switch but acknowledged Bartlett’s impressive performance.
“We got called in and got the scouting report and what he was gonna throw.” Golsan said. “He had some sink, stayed down in the zone, and worked off of his slider and his fastball.”
The Rebels kept the game close until the top of the eighth inning. After the pitching change and two quick outs, a dribbler to Nick Fortes at first base made it seem like the inning would be over but he bobbled the ball and a run scored on the error.
After the error and another walk, Coach Bianco headed out to the mound again after sending Connor Green to warmup in the pen. A bad read by Golsan in the outfield on the next play cost the Rebels two more runs, making the score 7-2.
Fans began to filter out of the stadium after Mizzou’s three run eighth inning, and the Rebels went down in order again. Ole Miss tried to mount a comeback but only scored one run in the ninth inning. The game ended with the fourth double play of the night for the Tigers.
The Rebels will look to even out the three game series Saturday at 4 p.m. at Swayze Field.