Columbia–A two-run homer in the second and a three-run blast in the third propelled Ole Miss to an early 5-0 lead on USC and the Rebels went on from there to a 9-1 victory Thursday night at Founders Park. The win was the fifth straight for Ole Miss over the Gamecocks who have lost five of their last seven SEC games.
The Rebels hit those homers off freshman starter Aiden Hunter (5-4). He would go on to allow seven total runs over the first three innings. John Gilreath took over in the fourth and proceeded to have one of the best outings of his career. He went five innings and allowed two runs on two hits while striking out five. CJ Weins pitched a perfect ninth for the Gamecocks.
Ole Miss starter Dylan DeLucia (2-0) was outstanding. Over seven innings he limited the Gamecocks to six hits and one run. He struck out four and walked one. DeLucia thew 118 pitches, 80 for strikes.
Cole Messina and Josiah Sightler each had two hits to highlight the offense. The Gamecocks only run scored in the eighth on a fielder’s choice. USC played without leading hitter Brandt Belk for the second straight game due to an illness. His availability for Friday’s game is 50-50 per coach Mark Kingston.
The Gamecocks are 16-17 and 4-9 while the 25th ranked Rebels are 21-12 and 5-8. The teams will play game two of the series Friday night at 7:00. Game three is scheduled for Saturday at 1:00 though rain could force a change in that start time.