By Adam Brown
On a cold Valentine’s Day evening the No. 18 Ole Miss Rebels baseball team fell to the No.1 Louisville Cardinals 7-2 on the opening day of the 2020 season at Swayze Field.
Ole Miss (0-1) sophomore LHP Doug Nikhazy got off to a shaky first inning before finding his rhythm on the mound as the Cardinals threatened to take an early lead after they got two runners in scoring position by a base knock and a walk. Nikhazy got out of a bases-loaded situation with two strikeouts.
The Rebels put pressure on Louisville’s ace Reid Detmers in the bottom of the frame as junior shortstop Anthony Servideo got a leadoff double followed by a walk to freshman Peyton Chatagneir.
For the next four innings, a pitchers duel broke out until the bottom of the fifth when the Rebels scratched across the first run when DH Ben Van Cleve hit a double. He was pinched run by John Rhys Plumlee who came in on an RBI base hit by Servideo.
Servideo finished going 2 for 3 at the dish with a single, double, walk and a strikeout.
The Cardinals answered in the next frame with four off of back-to-back doubles to take a three-run lead.
Nikhazy (0-1) worked innings as he gave up four runs on five hits. The Rebels southpaw struck out five Cardinals while allowing three free passes. Bianco went to the bullpen and called on the right-handed arm of Taylor Broadway logged 3.1 innings giving up three runs on six hits while striking out four batters.
Louisville tacked on its final three runs in the top of the ninth as Ole Miss committed three errors in the frame.
Detmers after a shaky first settled in and tossed five complete innings giving up one run on three hits. The Cardinals ace retired nine strikeouts and allowed two walks. McDonald calls on the senior arm of lefty Adam Elliot. Elliot tossed 2.1 innings allowing one run on two hits and struck out two Rebels. Michael Kirian finished the game on the bump as he worked 1.2 innings with no runs on one hit and struck out three.
The Cardinals pitching staff struck out a total of 14 Ole Miss batters.
Ole Miss looks to even the series on Saturday as Gunnar Hoglund takes the bump for the Rebels. The first pitch is set for 1:30 p.m. on SEC Network +.