Home runs, weather lift Ole Miss over Louisiana Tech

Published 9:47 am Thursday, March 2, 2023

OXFORD — Ole Miss brought the thunder, Mother Nature brought the lightning and the rulebook provided the result.

Ole Miss hit two home runs, including a solo shot by Ethan Groff that turned out to be the game-winner, as it beat Louisiana Tech 4-3 Wednesday in the second game of a midweek series.

The game was shortened to six innings because of lightning, and was called after a delay that lasted more than two hours.

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The teams took the field for the seventh inning and Louisiana Tech took a 5-4 lead on an RBI double by Dalton Davis. Two batters later, the game was halted and never resumed. By rule, the score reverted to what it was at the last completed inning and Ole Miss was awarded the 4-3 victory.

Louisiana Tech (5-4) won the first game of the two-game series on Tuesday.

In a statement, Louisiana Tech’s athletics department said it was “disappointed” in the way the delay was handled. Rain was light, but lightning in the area kept the game from resuming.

“At no point during the two-plus hour delay were there any plans to tarp the field if heavy rain became an issue,” Louisiana Tech’s statement read. “We approached Ole Miss offering to return to Oxford to finish the game at a future date (possibly as early as next week). However, the Rebels head coach said his administration would not allow him to resume the game according to Bulldog head coach Lane Burroughs.

“While we were in total agreement of the decision to delay play due to the weather, we are disappointed our student-athletes will not have a chance to determine the outcome on the field at a later date.”

Groff’s home run was the last of four that were hit in the game. Louisiana Tech got a solo homer from Ethan Bates in the third inning and a two-run shot by Walker Burchfield in the fourth to take a 3-0 lead.

Ole Miss’ Kemp Alderman and Groff both hit solo homers. Peyton Chatagnier also hit a two-run single to tie the game at 3 in the fourth inning.

The Rebels (7-2) will head to Minneapolis this weekend to face three Big Ten opponents in the Cambria College Classic at U.S. Bank Stadium. They’ll play Maryland in the opener at 3 p.m. Friday; Minnesota at 7 p.m. Saturday; and Nebraska at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Ole Miss and Maryland played a series in Oxford last weekend, with the Rebels winning two of the three games.