MEMPHIS , Tenn. – The Rebels had two chances early, but couldn’t get a man home while the Tigers capitalized on the few chances allowed as No. 17 Ole Miss (26-11) fell to Memphis (23-14) by a score of 4-0 on Monday night at Autozone Park.
Ole Miss got runners in scoring position in the first and fourth inning, and loaded the bases in the eighth, but Memphis was able to escape the jams each time and keep the Rebels off the board for the night.
Auston Bousfield turned in a career-night at the plate for Ole Miss, going 4-for-4 to beat his previous best of three hits in a game. The junior was responsible for four of the Rebels’ five hits in the game.
Brady Bramlett (4-1) took the loss, allowing four runs on three hits with three walks in his 3.2 innings of work.
Michael Wills (3-2) picked up the win, holding the Rebels to four hits with two strikeouts in his 7.2 innings of work. Jonathan Van Eaton the picked up his eighth save of the season, closing out the final 1.1 innings for the Tigers.
“Tonight was very indicative of the college game today,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “You have to take advantage of the opportunities when you get them and they did that tonight with the big hit. We had a couple of chances to make things happen and we weren’t able to get the key hit. Obviously our offense was scattered tonight with five hits and Bousfield got four of them. We have to do a better job of getting the hit when we have scoring opportunities.”
Memphis struck first, pushing a run home in the fourth inning on a Carter White double to right field that brought home Zach Willis from second. Willis reached on a single that took a bad hop at first before moving to second on a groundout. White then took third when he moved to steal and stopped, but the Rebels’ Allen went to throw to third and freakishly the ball and Allen’s hand hit the batter in the head, sending the ball into right field and allowing White to advance on the throwing error.
A pair of walks loaded the bases before a sac fly to center from Keaton Aldridge brought a second run home and left men at the corners. A third walk loaded the bases again before Bryce Beeler would double down the left field line to bring two more runs home and give the Tigers the 4-0 lead. Ole Miss would then turn to the bullpen for right-hander Jacob Waguespack who got the Rebels out of the inning.
The Rebels got the first real opportunity since the fourth inning in the eighth, loading the bases with two outs on reliever Clayton Gant and sending Memphis to the bullpen again for closer Jonathan Van Eaton. The Tiger reliever got a strikeout to end the scoring threat and keep Ole Miss out of the runs column.
Memphis looked to add to the lead in the bottom of the eighth, but Tanner Mathis delivered a strike to the plate on a single to left field that got the lead runner out to end the inning and keep the Tigers from adding to the lead.
Ole Miss couldn’t find an answer in the ninth as Van Eaton completed the save to give the Tigers the win.
The Rebels return to action on Tuesday night, traveling to Trustmark Park to face the Golden Eagles of Southern Miss at 6:30 p.m.
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