OXFORD, Miss. – It took some late inning heroics and a couple of big at bats, but the Rebels came up with the plays when they needed them as No. 28 Ole Miss (8-1) rallied from three runs down to defeat Austin Peay (4-1) in the 10th inning by a score of 5-4.
Freshman Austin Anderson came up with an RBI single in the eighth inning that drove in Jordan King and tied the game at four. In extra innings, King again came up with a hard fought at bat, drawing a walk before scoring the game-winning run on a sac fly to center field from Zach Kirksey in the 10th that gave Ole Miss the win.
“Austin Peay got some hits early on and were able to grab the game at the beginning,” Bianco said. “Offensively and on the mound it was not a great night for us but once again we figured out how to put an inning together and get back in the game.
“Zach Kirksey did not over swing on the first pitch, and then popped it into the outfield to win the game,” Bianco said. “That’s a lot harder than it looks, and I am proud of him for that. Eric Callender came in and pitched his best toward the end of the game. To come in during a jam and pitch out of it sent a message to our guys that we have to score runs and get back in it.”
Brett Huber (1-0) picked up the win in relief, holding the Governors off the board the final 2.1 innings while allowing only one hit with three walks and four strikeouts as the Rebels picked up the win. Huber entered the game in the eighth with two outs and a man on base. Huber walked the first batter faced before striking out John Hogan to get out of the inning.
Andy Cox (0-1) suffered the loss in relief for Austin Peay, working 0.1 innings as he started the 10th and walked King before the Governors went to the bullpen for Zane Leffew. Leffew balked to move King to second before a sac bunt from Miles Hamblin put King on third. He then intentionally walked Anderson before Kirksey came up with the game-winning sac fly.
Austin Peay struck first, plating a run in the first inning when Jordan Hankins singled up the middle to score Cody Hudson. Hudson opened the game with a single to right and stole second before scoring on the Hankins hit to put the Governors up 1-0.
Ole Miss responded in the second when Miles Hamblin crossed the plate on a triple to right field from Kirksey. Hamblin singled to open the inning before scoring on the extra-base hit from the Rebel left fielder to even the score at one.
Austin Peay pushed two more runs across the plate in the fourth inning. Reed Harper opened with a single before the Rebels would notch two outs. Michael Blanchard then doubled to score Harper and put the Governors back on top. A second run crossed the plate two batters later when Harper scored on a single from Rolando Gautier to put Austin Peay up 3-1.
The Governors scored a fourth run in the sixth inning Cody Hudson scored on a wild pitch after opening the inning with a walk. He then advanced to second on a groundout before stealing third to set up the score on the wild pitch.
Ole Miss cut the lead back to one in the seventh inning with a two out rally sparked by a single from Blake Newalu and a walk of Tanner Mathis. Both runners scored a batter later on a long fly ball to left field from Alex Yarbrough that was dropped by the Governor fielder.
Ole Miss tied the game in the eighth on the hit from Anderson before claiming the win on the Kirksey sac fly in the 10th.
The Rebels and Austin Peay will face-off again on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. at O-U Stadium/Swayze Field.
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