TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – On a day that featured stellar pitching and defense, it was late inning heroics that decided things as the Crimson Tide got a two-run walk-off home run in the ninth inning and No. 17 Ole Miss (16-7, 2-3 SEC) fell to Alabama (9-14, 1-4 SEC) by a score of 3-2 on Saturday.
With hits and runs at a premium, Ole Miss put together a seventh inning rally to grab a 2-1 lead and held things in check until Alabama’s Brett Booth fought off several pitches and came up with the game-winning hit in the ninth with two outs on the board and a man on third.
Brett Huber (0-1) suffered his first loss of the season as he allowed the two runs on two hits in 0.2 innings of work.
Taylor Guilbeau (2-2) picked up the win after allowing one hit with two walks and two runs in 1.0 inning of work.
Both starters pitched well on the afternoon with Rebel senior R.J. Hively allowing one unearned run on four hits with eight strikeouts in 8.0 innings of work. Alabama starter Justin Kamplain allowed two runs on three hits with a pair of walks and six strikeouts in his 7.0 innings of work.
“We were just a pitch away from being on their side of things right now,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco following the game. “It was a well played and well pitched game, we were just a pitch away.”
Alabama got on the board first, pushing a single run home in the third inning playing station to station baseball. Lead-off hitter A.J. Cole reached on a fielding error at short before taking second on a sac bunt and third on a fly out from Taylor Dugas. An infield single from Ben Moore brought him home and gave the Crimson Tide the 1-0 lead.
Ole Miss responded with its own rally in the seventh, taking the lead with a pair of runs off the Crimson Tide starter. Alex Yarbrough broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff single and took second on a groundout from Matt Snyder. He then tied the game on an RBI single from Will Allen.
The Rebels continued the rally when Allen stole second and moved to third on a groundout from Andrew Mistone. Allen came home on a single to right from Preston Overbey and gave Ole Miss the 2-1 lead on the Crimson Tide.
The Crimson Tide had one more rally in the tank, coming up with a two-out and two-strike home run from Brett Booth in the bottom of the ninth to give Alabama the 3-2 win over the Rebels.
Ole Miss and Alabama will conclude the series at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium on the campus of the University of Alabama.
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