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.
The dean of Southeastern Conferences quarterbacks and the league's leading returner in total offense, passing yards and passing touchdowns, senior Bo Wallace is as healthy and confident as ever, and he's also assumed a more vocal leadership role on the... read more
We Are Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.In case you missed it, "Forward Together: We Are Ole Miss" from earlier this year: Forward Together: We Are Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze confirmed that junior cornerback Carlos Davis suffered a torn ACL and will likely have surgery Monday. Davis joins sophomore cornerback Tee Shepard and junior safety Chief Brown on the list of players expected to miss... read more
The launch of the SEC Network shows the growth and vision of the 14 schools in the conference. #OleMiss-- Coach Alex (@apsimms2) August 15, 2014 That was fun! And the @SECNetwork is only getting started. #SECStoried finished strong. Great... read more
Tonight is the night!! #SECNetworkLaunch pic.twitter.com/73UYs8B0Hg-- SEC Network (@SECNetwork) August 14, 2014 Historic day for SEC & #OleMiss as we celebrate the launch of the @SECNetwork at 5pm CST! Congrats to everyone who made it happen!-- Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) August... read more
The center and right tackle position battles have been two of the biggest story lines of fall camp, but as the Rebels prepped for their second preseason scrimmage Wednesday night, they are closer to solidifying the depth chart along the... read more
"Buy-in" is a common term thrown around by coaches. How will first-year Ole Miss head volleyball coach Steven McRoberts measure buy-in, as the team continues its preseason work for the upcoming season? Attitude and effort. "If we bring those two... read more
The Ole Miss men's basketball team wrapped up its Bahamian exhibition tour with a perfect 2-0 record. Head coach Andy Kennedy recapped the trip, talked about the chemistry, depth and experience of a new-look roster heading into the fall. The... read more
Sophomore defensive end Fadol Brown and sophomore cornerback Kailo Moore returned from their respective injuries, while sophomore Tee Shepard remains out with a toe injury. The results from Shepard's MRI performed on Saturday are being sent to Birmingham, head coach... read more
The SEC Network will debut on Thursday, August 14 with a three-hour SEC Now that will visit every SEC school and the 21 sports within the SEC. The first two weeks of the network will also feature customized programming to... read more
Ole Miss continues its preparations for the the 2014 season with the second full week of fall camp starting Monday. Here's a look back at the first full week of fall camp with some observations and takeaways, as well as... read more
An extended portion of the team drills were open to the media. Gameplay-wise, the highlight of the period was a pair of deep throws from senior quarterback Bo Wallace, one to sophomore wide receiver Laquon Treadwell and another to junior... read more