By Adam Brown
No. 17 Ole Miss took care of the Xavier Musketeers 13-0 in the opening game of the series in a win on Friday afternoon in a combined no-hitter.
Although the air was cold, it did not affect Ole Miss’ (4-1) offense from sparking flames from their bats. Ole Miss plated five runs in the second capped off by the first career home run by catcher Hayden Dunhurst.
The bottom of the order for the Rebels got the team going with multiple hits by Tim Elko and Dunhurst.
Dunhurst had a career game as he went 2-for-4 at the dish with a double and a home run. He drove in five RBIs on the evening.
Junior right fielder Elko continued to see the ball well as he went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
A total of 10 Ole Miss batters got on base by a free pass (two hits by pitch).
In the eighth, the Rebels took on the final three runs of the evening off the bat of Knox Loposer who came into pinch-hit. He drove the ball into the fans in left for his second dinger of the season. Loposer matched his season-high in home runs.
Ole Miss’ ace Doug Nikhazy (1-1) found his rhythm early on the bump by not surrendering a run or a hit to the Musketeers. Nikhazy worked 6.0 complete innings only allowing two walks while striking out nine batters. The southpaw recorded his third career scoreless start in a Rebel uniform.
“It was awesome,” Nikhazy said. “Everybody started crowding up towards the front. It was awesome and a great feeling to see Drew (McDaniel) and Jackson (Kimbrell) to get in there and have so much success. It was also good for us to come out here and dominate both sides of the baseball.”
In the seventh, coach Mike Bianco called on the arm Drew McDaniel who held the Musketeers scoreless in two innings on the bump. McDaniel surrendered no runs, no hits on a walk and struck out one.
Ole Miss finished the game with the arm of Jackson Kimbrell who completed the no-hitter by retiring the Xavier batters and recording a strikeout.
The Rebels pitching staff fanned a total of 11 Musketeer batters in on the night.
This is the first combined no-hitter for the Rebels since March 20, 2019, when they defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 25-0 in seven innings.
Xavier got three players aboard by walk but was unable to get a hit off the Rebels starter and reliever.
These two teams will return to the diamond on Saturday. The first pitch is set for 1:30 p.m. on SEC Network +.
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