OXFORD, Miss. –Alex Yarbrough made a pair of big plays in the 10th inning to help the Rebels snag a win on Saturday coming up with a big throw home in the top half of the inning and notching a walk-off single to center field in the bottom of the frame to give Ole Miss (1-0) a 5-4 win over Wright State (0-2).
With a man on third and one out in the top of the 10th, Yarbrough came up with a ground ball from Tristan Moore and threw home where Taylor Hightower tagged out Zach Tanner to help keep the score knotted at four.
Yarbrough then came to the plate in the bottom half of the inning with men on second and third and one out on the board. The sophomore hit the ball sharply to centerfield where a sprinting Ryan Ashe was unable to make the play, allowing pinch runner Eric Sauls to score from second and give the Rebels the extra-inning win.
It is the third time in his career that Yarbrough has come up with a game-winning hit in extra-innings for the Rebels. Yarbrough hit a walk-off home run in the 10th inning against Murray State last season and also hit a walk-off single in the 11th inning against fifth-ranked LSU in a series sweep of the Tigers.
With the win, the Rebels clinch the series over the Raiders and will go for the sweep at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. “We got the win but didn’t play very well today and that’s the disappointing factor,” Bianco said. “It wasn’t a bad day offensively, but we kept shutting down innings and yesterday we extended our innings. We left to many guys on base and couldn’t bring the man on third home. The bottom line is we have to play better.
“Alex made a game winning play (in the 10th) by running up smothering the ball and getting it to Hightower who made the tag at home,” Bianco said. “Goforth was amazing; he showed today what we have all been seeing over the past six months. He has really improved and grown as a pitcher. His pitching was hard to match today, it was electric stuff.”
Jake Morgan (1-0) picked up the win in relief, working 2.2 innings and allowing one unearned run on four hits with two strikeouts. Starter David Goforth was masterful in his first outing of the season, pitching 7.0 scoreless innings with a walk and five strikeouts and allowing only five hits.
The Rebels got on the board first, scoring two runs in the second inning on a home run from Preston Overbey that scored Jordan King.
Ole Miss added to the lead in the seventh inning, pushing two more runs across the plate to take a 4-0 lead on the visiting Raiders. Matt Smith reached on a fielding error in right field - taking second on the play - before scoring on a single from Matt Tracy. Tracy moved to second on a groundout from Overbey before scoring on a double to left from Taylor Hightower.
Wright State answered in the eighth inning, pushing four runs across the plate to tie things up. The Raiders used a single, a walk and a passed ball to put runners in scoring position before back-to-back singles drove in a pair of runs. A double from Corey Davis then drove in two more runs to tie things at four before the Rebels would get out of the inning.
Both teams were held without a run until Yarbrough came up with the game-winning hit in the 10th to give the Rebels the victory.
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