Oxford, Miss. (VUAD)– No. 24 Vanderbilt was on the wrong end of a pitcher’s duel in the Southeastern Conference opener Friday night at No. 16 Ole Miss in a 1-0 loss at Swayze Field.
The two teams traded zeroes through the first five frames before the Rebels (13-5, 0-1) finally broke through with a two-out rally against Commodores’ (12-7, 0-1) starter Kyle Wright. The big right-hander retired the first two Rebels of the inning before Colby Bortles singled to center field for his second hit of the night. Wright complicated things further with his second walk of the game to push Bortles into scoring position. Pinch hitter Tim Rowe came up with the biggest of the night, going the opposite way with a single to left field to score Bortles and give the Rebels the only run they needed.
The Vanderbilt offense wasted leadoff men reaching in four straight innings in the middle of the game but none bigger than the third when Ethan Paul walked to start the frame. Connor Kaiser followed with a single over the shortstop’s head and Jeren Kendall walked to load the bases. The inning evaporated from there, however, as Alonzo Jones hit a ball in front of the plate that bounced back and hit him in fair territory for the first out. With the bases still full, Julian Infante hit into an inning-ending double play. Paul led off with a double to center field in the fifth but Ole Miss starter David Parkinson pitched around it to keep the Dores off the scoreboard.
Wright was the tough-luck loser despite his best outing of the year. The junior allowed only the one run on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts in his third loss of the year. The VU offense struggled with a season-low three hits and went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
Parkinson picked up the win with six innings of work, scattering three hits and walking four with five strikeouts. Dallas Wollfolk worked a clean ninth for his fifth save and wrap up the Rebels fifth straight shutout victory.
The Commodores return to action tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 p.m. on SEC Network+ with Patrick Raby on the mound against Ole Miss right-hander Brady Feigl.