Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports
OLE MISS SPORTS NEWS
October 1, 2021
Baseball Opens Fall Practice With Red vs. Blue Intrasquad
Rebels Bring the Energy on Day 1
OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss baseball marked its first day of official practice with a Red vs. Blue intrasquad in front of fans at Swayze Field this afternoon. Peyton Chatagnier, John Gaddis and head coach Mike Bianco break down day one as they gear up for a pair of fall exhibitions at home against Little Rock and Alabama.
THE BOYS ARE BACK
With fall ball back in full swing at Swayze, players and coaches were excited to get back out there and compete. The Rebs battled back-and-forth in a 10-inning intrasquad, with the Red team coming out on top.
"It's a lot of fun, this is what we work for all fall," said Chatagnier. "A lot of guys came out with a ton of energy. There were a lot of positives today, I'm sure there are things we can learn from, but it was really fun."
"It's just good to be back out here," said Gaddis. "There was a lot of good pitching and a lot of good hitting, and it really showed on the scoreboard."
Leading the Rebels in his 22nd season, Bianco is excited to see the team back out at Swayze playing ball. After weeks of position and skill work, the team finally put on the uniforms and took the field for their first intrasquad of the fall.
"The first day is always a good day, regardless of how you play, just to get on the field and watch guys move around," said Bianco. "We've been in skill work for the last four or five weeks, but once you put the uniform on and you start to compete and get everyone out here at the same time, I know it's an exciting day."
Both teams saw a lot of success at the plate as Chatagnier, Ben Van Cleve and Kemp Alderman all went yard. On the other side of things, Gaddis, Riley Maddox and Mitch Murrell all tossed 2.0 scoreless innings apiece.
"Usually, the first day is dominated by the pitching," said Bianco. "We did have some good pitching performances from guys like John Gaddis and Riley Maddox, but I thought today was really an offensive day. I guess not really too surprising because we return so many offensive players from last year but a lot of those guys really swung the bat well and really it was just a good overall day."
"The offense really dominated overall; Peyton Chat had a tremendous day. First at bat hits a ball out of the yard and had a couple other hits beside that. Kevin Graham also had a really great day. A lot of guys swung the bat really well and hopefully that's going to continue."
Reagan Burford started the offense out of the two-hole with a single to right field. Kevin Graham eventually capitalized with an RBI single that gave the Navy team a quick 1-0 lead. Chatagnier countered shortly afterwards for the Red team. His solo home run to left field tied the game before Hayden Leatherwood gave the Red team the lead on an RBI single to score Justin Bench. At the end of the first inning, the Red team had a 2-1 lead.
Like Chatagnier before him, Van Cleve used just one pitch to launch a solo bomb and tie things up to start the second inning. The Red team responded. A leadoff double by Banks Tolley resulted in another Chatagnier RBI while Chatagnier scored a run of his own following a throwing error. The red team had a 4-2 lead after two complete.
After two scoreless innings, McCants used a single to center field to later find third base after stealing a pair of bases. He would score on a sac fly courtesy of Burford to cut the lead down to 4-3 in Red's favor. The Red team again answered. A walk issued to Chatagnier and Calvin Harris single put runners at the corners and no outs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Bench used an RBI double to score Chatagnier, while Kramer used a 2-RBI hit to open up the lead to 7-3.
The Blue team went straight to work to start the sixth inning and were in business following a Graham walk and Knox Loposer double. Van Cleve knocked in a few more runs, scoring both Graham and Loposer. Van Cleve himself scored on a wild pitch to cut the lead down to a run.
With the Blue team in striking distance, Bench helped add some insurance, scoring on Leatherwood double in the seventh, pushing the lead back to three. Alderman added the finishing touches for the Red team with a two-run bomb to center in the bottom of the ninth. Murrell worked the final two shutout innings on the mound, picking up four K's.
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