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.
No. 6 Ole Miss (37-20, 15-15 SEC) vs. No. 3 Arkansas (35-19, 18-11 SEC)May 22 | 9:30 a.m. | Hoover, Ala. | Comcast Sports Southeast/ESPN3UM So. RHP Sam Smith (3-0, 3.28 ERA) vs. UA Jr. RHP Barrett Astin (4-4, 2.02... read more
WHAT HAPPENED VS. KENTUCKY: On four days' rest, junior right-hander Mike Mayers pitched a gem, giving up one run (unearned) on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work, as No. 6 seed Ole Miss... read more
Ole Miss (36-20, 15-15 SEC) vs. UK SR LHP Jerad Grundy (6-5, 4.75 ERA)1. LF Tanner Mathis (0-for-7, 3 BB)2, SS Austin Anderson (2-for-6)3. C Stuart Turner (2-for-3, HR, 2 BB)4. 3B Andrew Mistone (5-for-9, 3 2B, 3B)5. CF Auston... read more
No. 6 Ole Miss (36-20, 15-15 SEC) vs. No. 11 Kentucky (30-24, 11-19 SEC) May 21 | 9:30 a.m. | Hoover, Ala. | Fox Sports Net/ESPN3 UM Jr. RHP Mike Mayers (4-5, 3.21 ERA) vs. UK Sr. LHP Jerad Grundy... read more
My name is Austin Miller, and I am the new writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. I graduated with a bachelor's in journalism from Ole Miss less than two weeks ago, and I will be attending graduate school there in the... read more
It was exciting news this week as Rebel favorite Tom Luke returned to the Ole Miss football program as Assistant A.D. for Player Development. A second-generation Rebel and the brother of fellow Ole Miss standout and staffer Matt Luke, Tom... read more
A little more than a year into his first term as Ole Miss Athletics Director, Ross Bjork made his first trip to Starkville this week but did so for a good cause. Bjork and Bulldog AD Scott Stricklin joined forces... read more
Despite losing the All-American twin duo of Marcel and Chris Thiemann and playing in the toughest conference in America, Ole Miss finished the 2013 regular season with a ranking of No. 7 in the nation.The regular season was highlighted by... read more
Injuries have riddled the Ole Miss football team this spring, and after evaluating the situation this week, the coaching staff determined a full scale scrimmage would not be an option for this year's BancorpSouth Grove Bowl. As a result, the... read more
Former Ole Miss All-Americans and collegiate top-10 doubles duo Kristi Boxx and Abby Guthrie have reunited to compete in the $25,000 USTA St. Dominic Pro Circuit women's event in Jackson. The event, which began Sunday, will run through April 7... read more
Panama Trip Photo GalleryTwo weeks ago, I wrote about a group of six Ole Miss football players who went on a mission trip to Panama over spring break. They have since returned to Oxford and been knee-deep in schoolwork and... read more
Ole Miss' run to the SEC Tournament title and the Big Dance received national coverage for the team and university during the March Madness. Below is just a sampling of mountain of press the Rebels have gotten including a tweet from King... read more
Michaela Quinn, a member of the 2013 Ole Miss track & field signing class, turned in a great performance at the World Junior Cross Country Championships over the weekend.Competing as a member of Team Australia, Quinn placed 25th in the... read more
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Colton Walls, a sophomore linebacker who started his career at Clemson, is among the non-scholarship players to join the Ole Miss football team this spring. Rebel fans will be quite... read more