OXFORD, Miss. – The Rebels jumped out to an early lead, but a back and forth contest down the stretch went the wrong way in the end as No. 10 Ole Miss (33-13) fell to Southern Miss (27-19) by a score of 7-6 on Wednesday night at Swayze Field.
The Rebels couldn’t come up with a final answering run as Ole Miss took the lead three times on the night, but Southern Miss found an answer each time before claiming the win with a run in the ninth.
Wyatt Short (3-2) took the loss in relief, allowing one run on one hit with two walks and a strikeout as he worked the ninth for the Rebels. Short retired two batters before back-to-back walks put men on base and Nick Dawson delivered an RBI single to put the Golden Eagles on top for good.
Bradley Roney (1-0) picked up the win in relief, getting Southern Miss out of the eighth and working a scoreless ninth to pick up the win. Roney allowed one hit and struck out two batters in his 2.0 innings of work.
“It’s just disappointing,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “Somebody has to get them out besides the guys that pitch on the weekend all the time. We were a little limited today, but the other guys are supposed to get them out too. We gave up runs in five of the last six innings, and you’re not going to win baseball games doing that.”
“We weren’t very efficient (offensively),” Bianco said. “We couldn’t get the big hit. Early on it looked like we were going to have a great offensive day. You have to credit them; their guys at the end really shut it down.”
Ole Miss jumped out to a quick lead, pushing three runs across the plate in the first inning on an RBI single from Sikes Orvis and a two-RBI single from Errol Robinson as five straight batters reached base to put together the two-out rally.
The Rebels then added a fourth run in the third inning when Austin Anderson scored on a sac fly to center from Orvis that put the Rebels on top 4-0.
Southern Miss cut the lead in half in the fourth, pushing two runs across the plate. It started with a hit batter and a walk before RBI singles from Mason Robbins and Roney brought the runners home. Ole Miss held the 4-2 lead after the top of the fourth.
The fifth inning saw the Golden Eagles erase the rest of the deficit, tying the game with two more runs on a solo home run from Austin Roussel to open the inning and an RBI single from Matt Durst to cap the inning.
Ole Miss moved back in front 5-4 with a single run in the home half of the fifth when Orvis drove in his third run of the night with a single up the middle. Anderson scored on the play after reaching when he was hit by a pitch and stole second to set up the score on the Orvis.
Again Southern Miss erased the lead, pushing a run home with back-to-back doubles with one out that tied the game at six.
Ole Miss would move back in front with a single run in the bottom of the sixth on a wild pitch that allowed Austin Knight to score from third, but again the Golden Eagles answered with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly from Burdeaux that tied the game at six.
There would be no answering run this time for the Rebels as Southern Miss held Ole Miss off the board in the final three frames before pushing the go-ahead run across the plate in the top of the ninth for the win.
Ole Miss will return to action this weekend, hosting the Arkansas Razorbacks in a three-game series at Swayze Field. First pitch for Friday’s series opener is set for 6:30 p.m., while Saturday’s game will begin at 2:15 p.m. and Sunday’s finale will start at 1:30 p.m.
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