Gamecocks Coast in Series Opener

Tim Ferguson hit is first home run of the season in the ninth, but it wasn't enough to spark a big rally as No. 16 Ole Miss(24-14, 9-7 SEC) fell to No. 10 South Carolina (28-10, 10-6 SEC) by a score of 6-2 on Friday to open the weekend series.

Ferguson and Brett Basham led the Rebels at the plate with two hits each and both RBI for the Rebels. Basham was 2-for-3 on the night with an RBI, while Ferguson finished the night 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored off his solo shot in the ninth.

Lance Lynn (5-1) suffered his first loss of the season as he allowed six runs on 10 hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 7.0 innings of work. Jake Morgan closed out the final inning for the Reels with a strikeout and no hits in his time on the mound.

Mike Cisco (5-1) picked up the win as he worked 6.2 innings and allowed only one run on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

"It wasn't Lance Lynn's best night, but he competed well" said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. "South Carolina did a good job of putting an inning together. They got a bunt and two big hits to scrore a run in the first. The inning that hurt the most was the third that started with a walk and then a big hit and run with a base hit. James Darnell then made us pay for falling behind in the count. That was the ballgame."

South Carolina got things going in the first inning as back-to-back singles put runners at the corners before James Darnell singled through the left side to score Whit Merrifield from third and give the Gamecocks the early 1-0 lead. The Rebels turned two in the next at bat to end the threat and get out of the inning.

The Rebels loaded the bases with two outs in the second, but the Gamecocks were able to get out of the inning on a grounder to short the left three stranded and kept the home team in the lead.

The Gamecocks loaded the bases with one out in the third before James Darnell hit a grand slam to left center to give South Carolina a 5-0 lead on the Rebels.

Back-to-back doubles from Merrifield and Smoak in the fifth extended the lead to 6-0 in favor of the home team.

Ole Miss got on the board in the sixth inning when Brett Basham grounded out to short, allowing Cullan Kight to score from third. Kight singled to open the inning before moving to third on a double to right field from Tim Ferguson.

Ferguson then got the Rebels a second run in the ninth when he opened the inning with a solo shot to left center to cut the lead to 6-2, but the Rebels would get no closer.

Ole Miss and South Carolina will continue the series on Saturday when the two teams will take the field for a 3:00 p.m. CDT start. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Net as the Southeastern Conference Game of the Week.

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