Fast start not enough for ULM at Ole Miss

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OXFORD, Miss. – The ULM baseball team got off to a fast start on Tuesday night against Ole Miss and held a four-run lead before the hosts scored the final 18 runs of the night in a 21-3 loss for the Warhawks in the first of two midweek games.

ULM junior outfielder Johnny DeLaCruz, who was taken to an area hospital after a full speed collision with the outfield wall in the bottom of the third inning of Tuesday’s game, was released from the hospital and rejoined the team Tuesday evening.

THE BASICS
Score: Ole Miss 21, ULM 7
Location: Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field / Oxford, Miss.
Teams: ULM (12-33, 6-15 SBC), Ole Miss (28-17, 11-10 SEC)

TURNING POINT
-The Warhawks scored runs in three of the first four innings, but saw Ole Miss answer with five runs in the fourth, four runs in the fifth and nine runs in the sixth to take control of the game.

HOW IT HAPPENED
-ULM jumped on the board in the top of the first inning via Turner Francis’ two-run homer over the left field wall before Ole Miss answered in the bottom of the first with two runs to tie the game, using a RBI double and a run-scoring groundout to pull even at 2-2.
-The Warhawks countered in the top of the third inning on another home run, this time a solo homer by Anthony Herrera, but saw Ole Miss counter in the bottom of the frame with an RBI sacrifice fly to tie the game again. ULM responded with a four-run top of the fourth inning, using RBI singles from Blake Buckman and Herrera, as well as an RBI double from Cade Stone and a wild pitch-scoring run, to extend the advantage to 7-3 before Ole Miss came on the offensive attack.
-The hosts posted five runs on four hits and a ULM error in the bottom of the fourth, highlighted by a two-run homer, to pull ahead, before notching four runs on four hits with the help of two ULM errors in the fifth inning, keyed by a pair of two-run singles. Ole Miss capped the night with nine runs in the sixth, with the big hit a three-run homer, to bring the game to its final.
-ULM finished with 10 hits as a team, led by Herrera’s 3-for-4 night, while Chad Bell finished with two hits of his own, including a double. Francis (two RBI), Stone, and Buckman each drove in runs as well.
-Warhawk starter Kyle Backofen did not factor in the decision after three-plus innings of work, allowing five runs on five hits. Chase Cater, the first of four ULM relievers, was saddled with the loss after allowing three runs (one earned) and two hits with a pair of walks after facing four batters.
-Tate Blackman and Nick Fortes each tallied three hits to pace Ole Miss, who finished with 17 team hits, while reliever Houston Roth earned the win after 2 2/3 innings out of the bullpen.

UP NEXT
-ULM and Ole Miss wrap up the midweek set with a 3:00 p.m. start on Wednesday afternoon. The Warhawks then return home this upcoming weekend when Coastal Carolina comes to Monroe for a three-game Sun Belt Conference weekend series beginning Friday night.

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