OXFORD, Miss. - The Rebels mounted a two-run rally in the ninth to force extra innings on Sunday, but fell for the first time in additional frames as No. 16 Ole Miss (23-9, 4-8 SEC) dropped the series finale with No. 2 Vanderbilt (29-4, 11-1 SEC) by a score of 7-6 in 11 innings.
The Rebels are now 2-1 in extra-inning games, with all three extended games coming in Southeastern Conference play. Ole Miss claimed a series win over nationally-ranked Arkansas in 13 innings in the series finale to open SEC play before claiming the series opener at Florida in 11 innings last weekend.
Brett Huber (2-1) suffered the loss in relief, allowing one run on two hits with three walks and four strikeouts across the final 2.2 innings.
Brain Miller (5-0) picked up the win, allowing two runs on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 3.1 innings of work. The right-hander gave up the tying runs in the ninth inning, but picked up the win when Vanderbilt rallied in the 11th inning.
Stuart Turner led the Rebel offense at the plate, going 4-for-5 on the afternoon with a walk and helped spark the two-run rally in the ninth with his leadoff single.
"It was a tough one," Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said. "Obviously, we haven't been playing very well. Today we played much better. There's more in the tank. We can certainly pitch better, play better defense and hit better. Today was more of the team that played the first five weeks. We played hard against a very good team. We gave up the big inning and just couldn't get out of the big inning. You have to credit them. Today they really swung well. They had 17 hits. It's a tough one to swallow after the way we've played the last couple of weeks."
Ole Miss struck first, scoring a single run in the first inning on a sac fly from Andrew Mistone with the bases loaded to take the early lead.
Vanderbilt answered with a run in the second to even things up, but the Rebels pushed two runs home in the bottom of the second to move back in front 3-1. A Preston Overbey single and an RBI double from Will Allen started things off. Allen took third on a sac bunt from Christian Helsel and scored on a sac bunt from Lance Wilson to take back the lead.
The Commodores again answered with a four-run fourth inning and a single run in the fifth to take a 6-3 lead on the Rebels.
Ole Miss put together two more rallies, including a single run in the fifth on an RBI single from Turner before mounting the game-tying rally in the ninth.
The Rebels got the leadoff single from Turner in the ninth before a single through the right side put men at the corners for Ole Miss. Overbey brought Turner home with a groundout to first and cut the lead to one and pushed Mistone to second. The senior took third on a groundout to second base before the Rebels would complete the rally with two outs on the board.
Sikes Orvis was intentionally walked before Cameron Dishon drew a walk to load the bases. Tanner Mathis was then hit by the first pitch he saw to bring Mistone home and tie the game at six. Vanderbilt would then get out of the inning when second baseman Tony Kemp made a sliding snag on a ball pulled through the right side by Austin Anderson and made a game-saving throw to first for the final out in the inning.
The two teams then went through a scoreless 10th before Vanderbilt plated the go-ahead run in the 11th inning on a wild pitch and a throwing error.
Connor Harrell doubled with one out on a ground ball down the third base line that hit the bag and bounced over the fielder, rolling to the wall in foul territory to start the rally. A wild pitch then moved him to third and he came home on the play when the throw to the bag was wide, allowing Vanderbilt to take the 7-6 lead.
Ole Miss couldn't manage a final answering rally as the Commodores held the Rebels off the board in the bottom of the inning to pick up the win.
Ole Miss will return to action on Tuesday night when the Rebels travel to Trustmark Park to face Mississippi State in the annual Governor's Cup Game at 6:30 p.m.
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