PEARL, Miss. – The Rebels managed a pair of rallies to stay alive down the stretch, but couldn’t muster a third one as Ole Miss (20-14) fell to No. 20 Southern Miss (24-8) by a score of 8-6 in 12 innings at Trustmark Park on Tuesday night.
Ole Miss put together a pair of rallies, one in the ninth to send the game into extra innings and one in the 11th to stay alive, but couldn’t overcome a two-RBI single from Michael Doleac in the 12th that handed the Rebels the loss.
R.J. Hively (0-1) suffered the loss in relief as he allowed three runs on three hits with three walks in 1.0 inning of work. Hively entered the game in the 11th and came out to face the first batter in the 12th inning before the Rebels turned to Blair Wright.
Ole Miss used seven pitchers on the night, scattering six over the final 9.0 innings.
Collin Cargill (4-2) picked up the win for Southern Miss as he allowed two unearned runs on one hit with a walk and two strikeouts. He worked the final 3.2 innings of play.
“That was a tough one,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We competed hard, but there are no moral victories. We had opportunities, fought hard and got right there, but we couldn’t get that last hit.”
Southern Miss got on the board first, using a fielding error at first to start a two-out rally that pushed three runs across the plate. After two quick strikeouts to open the game, a pair of walks put two men on before the fielding error at first allowed the lead runner to score and put men at the corners. A chopper up the middle and a bloop single to right scored two more runs before the Rebels got out of the inning down 3-0.
Ole Miss then chipped away at the lead, pushing runs across in the fourth and fifth to pull within one at 3-2.
Southern Miss went back up by two with a run in the seventh inning before the Rebels responded with a single run in the eighth and the ninth to send the game into extra innings.
Taylor Hightower sparked both rallies for the Rebels, reaching in the ninth when he was hit by a pitch before scoring two batters later on a single from Overbey. He opened the 11th inning with a walk before taking second on a passed ball and scoring on a double from Austin Anderson.
After sending things into extra innings, Southern Miss plated two runs in the top of the 11th on a single up the middle from Mark Ellis with the bases loaded, giving the Golden Eagles the 6-4 lead.
Hightower then sparked the Rebels second rally of the night with his walk before scoring on the Anderson hit. Anderson then took third on a groundout to second from Tanner Mathis before a fielding error at short allowed him to score the tying run and send things into the 12th.
The Rebels again found themselves in a jam in the 12th when Southern Miss loaded the bases for the second straight inning. With two outs on the board, Doleac delivered a single through the left side that scored two runs and gave the Golden Eagles the win as Ole Miss couldn’t muster a third rally on the night.
Ole Miss will now return home to host Kentucky in a three-game series at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field. Friday’s series opener is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch. Saturday’s game will start at 4 p.m. following the Grove Bowl, while the series finale is set for 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
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