LOUISVILLE, Ky. – After falling behind early, the Rebels mounted a comeback in the ninth inning to cut the lead to one run, but No. 14 Ole Miss (13-3) couldn’t complete the rally as No. 22 Louisville (11-5) grabbed the 4-3 win in the first game of a two-game midweek series.
Preston Overbey scored two of the Rebels’ three runs on the night and seven Ole Miss players recorded hits, but the quick start by the Cardinals – who plated three runs in the first inning – proved to be too much to overcome.
Sam Smith (1-1) suffered the loss, allowing four runs on 10 hits with our strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work. Chris Ellis worked the final 2.0 innings, holding Louisville off the board and limiting the Cardinals to one hit while walking one and striking out four.
Jared Ruxer (2-0) picked up the win for Louisville, allowing one run on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work. Derek Self grabbed his fifth save of the season, facing the final two batters of the game after taking the mound with one out and two Rebels on base.
“This was a great college baseball game against a good team,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “It’s a tough one to lose, but in the end, they just played a little better than us. It’s the first time all year we have struggled to solve the opposing pitcher. (Jared) Ruxer was good tonight.”
The Cardinals got on the board first, pushing three runs home to take the early lead on the Rebels. Back-to-back bloop singles put two men on base before Ty Young came up with a two-out triple off the wall in right center to drive in the first two runs of the game. Louisville took a 3-0 lead a batter later when Alex Chrittendon singled through the right side to score Young.
Ole Miss got on the board in the fifth inning when Preston Overbey scored from third on a single to center from Blake Newalu. Overbey opened the inning with a single and moved to second on a single from Auston Bousfield. He then took third when the Rebels grounded into a double play to set up the score on the Newalu hit.
Zak Wasserman hit a solo home run to right field with one out in the sixth inning, putting Louisville back on top of the Rebels by three runs at 4-1.
Ole Miss got a run back in the sixth when Overbey scored for the second time on the night, this time n a wild pitch. Overbey singled to open the inning and moved to second on a balk. Anderson moved him to third in a pinch-hit at bat, before Overbey came home on the wild pitch to cut the lead to 4-2.
The Rebels got the lead cut to one in the ninth. Andrew Mistone came up with a pinch-hit double to lead things off before coming home on a single through the right side from pinch hitter Sikes Orvis. Ole Miss would get two men on with a walk of Tanner Mathis that put pinch runner Will Jamison at second. The Rebels couldn’t get another run across to tie things up, as Louisville held on to grab the 4-3 win.
Ole Miss and Louisville will play again at 11 a.m. CT on Wednesday at Jim Patterson Stadium. Set to start for the Rebels is freshman RHP Josh Laxer, while Louisville will start freshman RHP Nick Burdi.
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