OXFORD, Miss. – It was a tough night for the offense on Tuesday as the Rebels managed to get on base, but couldn’t get anyone home and No. 17 Ole Miss (15-6) fell to Southern Miss (12-9) by a score of 10-0 at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
Ole Miss tallied only three hits on the night, but had five batters walk and four more reach when they were hit by a pitch, but the Rebels left nine of those men stranded – including five in scoring position and a bases loaded scenario in the fifth.
“We have to get tougher,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We have to have better at-bats, hit more balls, be more on time with the fastball, and hit when we have opportunities and guys in scoring positions. I wish I could say it is one thing but it isn’t. We have to be able to execute and get better at-bats.”
Sam Smith (1-2) suffered the loss for the Rebels as he allowed four runs – but only one earned – on eight hits through 4.0 innings of work. Smith struck out four and did not walk a batter.
Paxton King (1-0) picked up the win, facing one batter on the night, but entering the game with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning. King got Matt Snyder to fly out to end the inning and kept Ole Miss off the board.
Southern Miss scored first, using a two-out triple and a single to get the first run home before an error in left field on a fly ball kept the inning alive for the Golden Eagles instead of giving the Rebels two outs. The misplayed ball in left allowed two men to get into scoring position before a sac fly from Travis Creel, which should have been the third out of the inning, pushed the first run home in the frame. Two more singles brought two more runs home and Southern Miss held a 4-0 lead in the fourth.
Ole Miss got its best shot at getting on the scoreboard in the fifth inning, loading the bases with two outs before Southern Miss’ King was able to get a fly out from Snyder to end the scoring threat.
A three-run home run from Blake Brown in the seventh inning pushed the lead to 7-0 before Southern Miss would use four singles in and a groundout from the first five batters to push three more runs home in the eighth and give the Golden Eagles the final margin of victory.
Ole Miss will return to action on Friday with the first game of a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Alabama. The Rebels and Crimson Tide will take the field for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch in Tuscaloosa.
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