ATHENS, Ga. – The Rebels led for most of the game, but a six-run eighth inning from the Bulldogs put things out of reach as No. 18 Ole Miss (23-11, 6-7 SEC) fell to Georgia (21-13, 6-7 SEC) by a score of 8-4 in the series opener on Thursday.
Ole Miss held a 4-2 lead heading into the eighth inning, but the Bulldogs put together a big rally to move into the lead for the first time on the night with the six-run inning on the way to the win.
Brett Huber (1-2) suffered the loss in relief, entering the game with two men on and no outs in the eighth inning. Both runners belonged to Aaron Greenwood. Huber allowed four runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout in 1.0 inning of relief work.
Michael Palazzone (1-4) picked up the win, working a complete game as he allowed four runs – only two of them earned – on nine hits with eight strikeouts in the outing.
“It’s frustrating,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “When you have a lead with six outs remaining, we have to figure out a way to close that out. We’ve tried different ways of handling that situation and we have to learn how to stop the bleeding and close it out.”
Ole Miss got on the board in the third inning, pushing two runs across the plate to break the stalemate. Singles from Andrew Mistone and Auston Bousfield put men at the corners with one out before Tanner Mathis singled through the right side to bring Mistone home. Bousfield then scored two batters later on a double from Alex Yarbrough and the Rebels held a 2-0 lead.
Georgia cut into the lead in the fifth inning, using three straight singles with one out to bring the first run home. The Bulldogs then got a fourth consecutive single to tie the game at two and Ole Miss turned to its bullpen for the sophomore right-hander Greenwood.
He then retired the next two batters to get Ole Miss out of the inning.
A wild sixth inning saw the Rebels regain the lead sparked by a pair of errors in left field on the same play. Yarbrough singled up the middle with one out before Snyder would hit a shallow fly ball to left. The Georgia left fielder dropped the ball, allowing Snyder to reach and then threw the ball wide of the bag at second and into right field on the play trying to erase Yarbrough from the base path. It allowed Yarbrough to score and moved Snyder to third base on the play with Ole Miss on top 3-2.
The Rebels added a second run in the frame when Will Allen singled up the middle to score Snyder and give Ole Miss the two-run lead back.
Georgia got things going again in the eighth, using a single and a walk to put two men on before a wild pitch advanced both runners to scoring position. With the count sitting at 1-2 to Peter Verdin, the Rebels turned to the bullpen for closer Brett Huber.
Huber loaded the bases with a walk before a ground ball to short got the Rebels the first out of the inning but brought a run home. With men at the corners, Georgia got a single through the left side from pinch hitter Nelson Ward to tie the game at four.
Georgia then loaded the bases for a second time on an infield single before the Rebels would get the second out of the inning with a strikeout. Kyle Farmer then put the Bulldogs on top for the first time in the game with a three-RBI triple to right center to give Georgia the 7-4 lead.
A sixth run came across the plate a batter later when Farmer crossed the plate on a single to right before the Rebels could throw out Hunter Cole at second trying to leg out a double making it 8-4 for the home team.
Ole Miss couldn’t put together a rally in the ninth as Palazonne closed things out to hand the Bulldogs the series-opening win.
The Rebels will face Georgia in game two of the series at 6 p.m. CT on Friday at Foley Field.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 13-19, 2014Football- Ole Miss rode its dominant defense to a 34-3 homecoming win over Tennessee on Saturday to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play.- The Rebels are 7-0 for just... read more
It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. There was no shortage of observations surrounding the Homecoming festivities this weekend. Let's get into it:1. When "College GameDay" visits Baton Rouge,... read more
The winning formula revealed itself as it has throughout the season: a dominant defense and a mistake-free offense. The Ole Miss defense forced four turnovers, while the Ole Miss offense did not commit a single turnover in a workmanlike 34-3... read more
Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss faces Tennessee for Homecoming on Saturday.'Third Down for What'Tennessee is very dangerous, Ole Miss football head coach Hugh Freeze said, because its talented, particularly if it gets momentum and confidence during... read more
Highlights from today's media opportunity with SEC Nation host Joe Tessitore and analysts Tim Tebow and Marcus Spears discussing the show's visit to Oxford for the SEC matchup between No. 3 Ole Miss and Tennessee. Tessitore recalls calling the first college... read more
At the halfway point of the regular season, Ole Miss is 6-0 for the first time since 1962, when it went 10-0 and earned a share of the national title. It's No. 3 ranking in the national polls is its... read more
With a dominant defense that ranks among the nation's leaders in most statistical categories, head coach Hugh Freeze acknowledged he has changed his offensive philosophy and play-calling to limit negative plays and quick possessions. Ole Miss averaged the second-most offensive... read more
Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and Tennessee head coach Butch Jones on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Oxford. For the full SEC teleconference, go here. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at... read more
Head coach Hugh Freeze admitted the offense played well enough to manage the game and let the defense win it. Ole Miss leaned on its running game, rushing for 160 yards on 35 carries, while Bo Wallace completed 13-of-19 passes... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 6-12, 2014Football- The No. 3 Ole Miss Rebels showed they belong among the nation's upper crust with a dominating 35-20 win at No. 14 Texas A&M on Saturday.- Ole Miss jumped out to a... read more