FORT WORTH, Texas –Tanner Mathis went 3-for-4 with an RBI and the Rebels strung together a fifth-inning rally to tie the game, but couldn’t grab the lead as No. 22 Ole Miss (1-1) fell to No. 10 TCU (1-1) by a score of 5-3 on Sunday.
The two teams split the weekend series after Ole Miss won the opening game 7-4 on Friday night and Saturday’s game was cancelled due to inclement weather in the area.
Mike Mayers (0-1) suffered the loss in relief despite strikeout out eight batters in 4.0 innings of work. Mayers allowed two runs on one hit with two walks after entering the game to start off the bottom of the fifth in relief of starter R.J. Hively.
Preston Morrison (1-0) picked up the win in relief, working 3.1 innings of relief with two strikeouts while holding the Rebels hitless in his time on the mound.
“It was almost a mirror image of Friday night’s game,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “They got the clutch double and we didn’t make the plays we needed to make in the first inning. The first inning just got away from us. Both teams pitched well today. We competed really well against a very good baseball team this weekend.”
TCU got things started in the first, using a liner to right center and back-to-back bunt singles to load the bases with no outs. Ole Miss got a strikeout on the next at bat, before TCU would plate two runs on a ground out and a throwing error in an attempt to turn a double play. Hively then coaxed a grounder out of Brett Johnson to end the inning down 2-0.
The Rebels escaped a jam in the third inning when Hively struck out Johnson looking to end a bases loaded scenario for the Horned Frogs.
TCU pushed the lead out to three in the fourth inning when a double and a triple from Rivera and Von Tungeln pushed a run home. The Rebels got out of the inning a batter later when Jason Coats flew out to the wall in center, leaving TCU on top 3-0.
Ole Miss mounted a rally in the third, putting two men on with two outs before Yarbrough ripped a single down the first base line to drive in Zach Kirksey. TCU went to its bullpen or Brandon Finnegan, who then gave up back-to-back singles to Matt Snyder and Tanner Mathis as the Rebels tied the score at three.
The back-to-back RBI singles sent the Horned Frogs to the bullpen again for right-hander Preston Morrison. Morrison then won a hard-fought at bat with Will Allen who saw nine pitches before TCU would get out of the inning.
TCU got two of the runs back in the home half of the fifth, using a double off the wall in right with two outs to drive in two runs. Mike Mayers, who had come in to relieve Hively to start the fifth, got two quick outs before putting two men on base to set up the two-RBI hit from Michael Resnick. TCU led 5-3 after five complete.
The Rebels could not mount another rally from there as the home standing Horned Frogs closed out the game to split the weekend series.
Ole Miss will return to action on Tuesday night with a single game against Arkansas State. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
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