TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Down one run with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning, Zach Kirksey came up with a sac fly to the wall in center field that drove in two runs as part of a four-run rally to help No. 17 Ole Miss (17-7, 3-3 SEC) defeat Alabama (9-15, 1-5 SEC) on Sunday by a score of 8-4.
The win gave the Rebels the series, marking the first series win for Ole Miss in Tuscaloosa since the 2004 season when the Rebels also picked up a victory on Sunday to claim the series over the Crimson Tide.
Kirksey’s two RBI fly out to the wall in straight away center put Ole Miss on top 5-4 and the Rebels would not relinquish the lead. It was the second rally of the day for the Rebels who had already fought back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game before falling behind by two runs again in the fifth inning.
Dylan Chavez (3-0) picked up the win in relief, working the final 2.1 innings and holding the Crimson Tide hitless while striking out two batters. He retired all seven batters faced down the stretch.
Spencer Turnbull (0-2) took the loss for Alabama, allowing four runs on four hits with a strikeout in 0.2 innings of work. Turnbull entered the game to relieve starter Jon Keller with two outs in the seventh inning. He got the Crimson Tide out of the inning, but left the game in the eighth with one out on the board and the bases loaded after having already surrendered one run to cut the lead to 4-3.
“It was a really good game and series with a lot of emotion from both teams,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “I’m proud of our guys and the way we hung in there today. Mike Mayers pitched well and Dylan (Chavez) did a great on the mound at the end.
“We’ve lacked the timely hit, but we got that today,” Bianco said. “I’m proud of the way we swung the bat there at the end of the game.”
Alabama got on the board in the third inning, capitalizing on a throwing error to third on a bunt to the third base side of the mound. The ball sailed over the head of Andrew Mistone, allowing Austen Smith to score on the play while A.J. Cole reached base safely and move to second on the play. Cole took third on a sac bunt from Hunter Gregory before scoring on a groundout to second from Taylor Dugas to give Alabama the early 2-0 lead.
The Rebels answered in the fifth inning with a two-run home run off the scoreboard in left field from Preston Overbey. Auston Bousfield scored on the play after reaching on a single to left field in the previous at bat.
The Crimson Tide weren’t done, using a wild bottom of the fifth that included a ground-rule double to set up a two-RBI single from Jared Reaves that scored both Dugas and Ben Moore. Ole Miss got out of the inning without any more damage, but Alabama held the 4-2 lead.
Ole Miss went to work in the eighth inning, putting together its second rally with one out after a strikeout started things off for the Rebels. Matt Snyder doubled down the right field line and moved to third on a single to right from Will Allen. Ole Miss then sent Will Jamison in to run for Allen with men at the corners.
Bousfield then delivered on a hit-and-run play with a single deep in the hole at second base, beating the throw to first as Jamison reached second and Snyder scored with no outs on the play. Another single to shallow right from Overbey loaded the bases before Kirksey delivered his two-RBI fly out to center field to put Ole Miss on top 5-4.
Jamison scored from third easily on the play while Bousfield never slowed down after tagging at second, rounded third and slid in safely ahead of the tag at the plate on the play. Overbey continued the theme of aggressive base running, moving from first to third on the fly out. He scored on the next at bat when Blake Newalu delivered a single to center to give Ole Miss the 6-4 lead.
The Rebels put things out of reach for good in the ninth when Snyder delivered his third home run of the season, this time coming up with at two-run shot down the right field line that scored Yarbrough and gave Ole Miss the 8-4 lead that would hold as Chavez retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth.
Ole Miss returns to action on Tuesday night in a non-conference game against Jackson State at 6:30 p.m. at Oxford-University Stadium. It’s the first of four home games next week as the Rebels will also host No. 1 Florida next weekend in a three-game series.
In Thursday night's 61-58 loss at Kansas State, senior guard Marshall Henderson was 4-for-18, including 2-for-13 from 3-point range, and finished with 13 points. Three days later, Henderson responded with a career-high 39 points and school-record 10 3-pointers in a... read more
Ole Miss fell 17-10 in overtime to intrastate rival Mississippi State, but the Rebels' one score provided a special moment for two of the team's unsung players. Down 7-0 with 31 seconds left in the first half, Ole Miss called... read more
Ole Miss sent seniors Kellie Goss and Kara Morgan out with a win as the Rebels topped LSU 3-2 on Senior Night. "It was a great win," head coach Joe Getzin said. "We tweaked the lineup, and one of our... read more
One of the core values for the Ole Miss football program is mental toughness. With a rivalry game in a hostile environment, it will carry a greater importance. "You're going into a hostile environment, and that's the biggest thing," offensive... read more
The Egg Bowl returns to Thanksgiving night for the first time since 2003, which is also the last time Ole Miss won in Starkville. Thursday's game is the 110th meeting of one of the nation's most-played rivalries and the 86th... read more
Ole Miss had its four-game winning streak snapped with a 24-10 loss to No. 8 Missouri on Saturday night. The 24th-ranked Rebels now face a quick turnaround as they travel to face intrastate rival Mississippi State on Thursday night in... read more
Head coach Hugh Freeze meets with members of the media following Wednesday's practice.Ole Miss is the only school in the upper half of the SEC statistical rankings in every major offensive and defensive category. This week, the Rebels face one... read more
Photo Gallery Courtney Cunningham is a builder. While playing volleyball for Ole Miss from 2009-11, Cunningham helped build the Rebels into an NCAA Tournament team while also earning her civil engineering degree. From that degree, Cunningham is helping build... read more
There's a different air surrounding this week's primetime showdown with No. 8 Missouri, the Rebels' first top-10 test since a 27-24 win over then-No. 6 LSU back on Oct. 19. "It's a huge week for us," junior quarterback Bo Wallace... read more
Freshman wide receiver Laquon Treadwell caught a short pass from junior quarterback Bo Wallace, made six Troy defenders miss and dove into the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown. It was the start of a historic day for the Ole... read more
Ole Miss won its second ever NCAA Tournament game and set a school record for wins in a season with 16, as seven different Rebels scored in a 9-0 win over Jackson State Friday night. No. 22-ranked Ole Miss (16-5-2)... read more
Tony Dungy, who won a Super Bowl as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, visited campus Wednesday. He spent time with head coach Hugh Freeze, spoke to the team and signed the equipment room Wall of Fame. "He's one of... read more
Ole Miss is bowl eligible for the second straight year under head coach Hugh Freeze after a 34-24 win over Arkansas this past Saturday. The Rebels are also 6-3 for the first time since 2009, when the started 8-3 before... read more
After Ole Miss took a 20-10 lead into halftime, the momentum swung in favor of Arkansas after an interception, a touchdown-scoring drive and a defensive three-and-out to start the third quarter. Now leading 20-17, senior quarterback Barry Brunetti converted a... read more