Ole Miss walks off Georgia for first SEC series win of the season

Published 8:06 pm Sunday, April 30, 2023

OXFORD — It took until the very last play of the weekend, but Ole Miss finally won a Southeastern Conference baseball series.

Judd Utermark was safe at home on a close play at the plate as Georgia catcher Fernando Gonzalez dropped the ball, giving Ole Miss an 8-7 walk-off win against the Bulldogs on Sunday. Utermark scored from second on T.J. McCants’ single to left field.

Ole Miss (23-21, 5-16 SEC) won its first SEC series of the season in its seventh try. The defending national champions took the opener on Friday and the finale on Sunday. The Rebels are still a game behind Mississippi State for the final spot in the SEC Tournament with nine conference games remaining.

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Ole Miss plays at Missouri, which is also 5-16 in the SEC, in a crucial series beginning Thursday.

Ethan Lege, Jacob Gonzalez and Peyton Chatagnier all homered to give Ole Miss a 5-1 lead entering the seventh inning on Sunday. Georgia (24-20, 8-13) rallied, however, with a run in the seventh three in the eighth to tie it.

Ole Miss went back in front, 7-5, on RBI singles by Lege and Kemp Alderman in the bottom of the eighth. Then Georgia tied it again on Ben Anderson’s two-run home run in the ninth.

The Rebels had the last at-bat and the last big moment, though.
Anthony Calarco hit a one-out single and Utermark was brought in to run for him. Utermark advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and Will Furniss was intentionally walked.

McCants hit the next pitch to left field, a soft liner that fell in for a hit. Georgia’s Connor Tate fielded it clean and fired a perfect strike to the plate that beat Utermark. The Ole Miss runner collided with Fernando Gonzalez and the ball came loose, giving Utermark the run and the Rebels the victory.