GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Rebels got men in scoring position, but couldn’t come up with the big hit when they needed to early as Ole Miss (24-20, 9-12 SEC) dropped the series finale to No. 4 Florida (34-10, 17-4 SEC) on Sunday by a score of 7-2.
Ole Miss put men in scoring position in four of the first five innings, but couldn’t get a run home until a Will Allen single in the seventh inning put the Rebels on the board. Matt Smith added a home run in the eighth inning to move into sole possession of second place on the all-time list for home runs at Ole Miss with 41 for his career.
Austin Wright (4-4) suffered the loss for the Rebels as he allowed four runs on five hits with a strikeout in 2.2 innings of work.
Karsten Whitson (6-0) grabbed the win for Florida as he held the Rebels scoreless through 6.0 innings and allowed three hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
“You have to tip your hat to Florida,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “They played terrific and got the big hits to extend the lead. We stayed out of giving up the big inning, but we just couldn’t stop them. Florida pitches well and their command is good, they got the big hits and make all the plays defensively. They just kind of smother you out there.”
Florida took the early lead, scoring in the first on a sac fly to left field from Nolan Fontana that brought Bryson Rose Home. Rose doubled down the left field line before a wild pitch moved him to third to set up the score on the Fontana fly ball. Mike Zunino then doubled before scoring on a single up the middle from Preston Tucker that put Florida up 2-0.
The Gators added to the lead in the third inning, pushing two more runs across the plate when Zunino came up with a two-RBI double that scored runners from first and third.
Zunino repeated the feat with his third double of the afternoon in the fifth inning to drive in two more runs and spark a Florida rally. Tucker then singled to drive in Zunino and put the Gators on top 7-0 after five innings of play.
With the Rebels threatening to put together another rally in the bottom of the sixth, Ole Miss turned to the bullpen for Jake Morgan. Morgan, who was seeing his first action since the March 20 game against Alabama, got the Rebels out of the inning with a groundout.
Ole Miss got on the board in the seventh when Allen singled to right field to drive in Matt Snyder from third. Snyder reached on a fielding error in left on a fly ball before taking third on a wild pitch to set up the score on the Allen hit.
Smith then hit his solo shot in the eighth inning to cut the lead to 7-2 which proved to be the final score.
Ole Miss will return to action on Wednesday when the Rebels travel to face Arkansas State in Jonesboro, Ark., at 6:30 p.m.
WHAT HAPPENED VS. ALABAMA: For the third time in the SEC Tournament, Ole Miss scored first with three runs in the second, then battled back to tie the 5-5 in the seventh, but fell to Alabama 7-5 in 10 innings.... read more
Summer is approaching which means the magazine stands are starting to fill up with preseason football publications. I swung by the convenient store Wednesday, and it looks like Sporting News and Athlon won the war of getting their season previews... read more
Track & Field News published today a comprehensive listing of the best marks in the world and U.S. this year, combining indoors and outdoors (full lists here). Several current and former Ole Miss athletes found themselves on the lists, as... read more
Behind Bobby Wahl and Mike Mayers, sophomore right-hander Sam Smith has quietly put together a stellar season in his own right. The regular third starter in the weekend rotation, the Lake Charles, La., native is 3-0 with a 3.11 ERA... read more
No. 6 Ole Miss (37-20, 15-15 SEC) vs. No. 3 Arkansas (35-19, 18-11 SEC)May 22 | 9:30 a.m. | Hoover, Ala. | Comcast Sports Southeast/ESPN3UM So. RHP Sam Smith (3-0, 3.28 ERA) vs. UA Jr. RHP Barrett Astin (4-4, 2.02... read more
WHAT HAPPENED VS. KENTUCKY: On four days' rest, junior right-hander Mike Mayers pitched a gem, giving up one run (unearned) on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work, as No. 6 seed Ole Miss... read more
Ole Miss (36-20, 15-15 SEC) vs. UK SR LHP Jerad Grundy (6-5, 4.75 ERA)1. LF Tanner Mathis (0-for-7, 3 BB)2, SS Austin Anderson (2-for-6)3. C Stuart Turner (2-for-3, HR, 2 BB)4. 3B Andrew Mistone (5-for-9, 3 2B, 3B)5. CF Auston... read more
No. 6 Ole Miss (36-20, 15-15 SEC) vs. No. 11 Kentucky (30-24, 11-19 SEC) May 21 | 9:30 a.m. | Hoover, Ala. | Fox Sports Net/ESPN3 UM Jr. RHP Mike Mayers (4-5, 3.21 ERA) vs. UK Sr. LHP Jerad Grundy... read more
My name is Austin Miller, and I am the new writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. I graduated with a bachelor's in journalism from Ole Miss less than two weeks ago, and I will be attending graduate school there in the... read more
It was exciting news this week as Rebel favorite Tom Luke returned to the Ole Miss football program as Assistant A.D. for Player Development. A second-generation Rebel and the brother of fellow Ole Miss standout and staffer Matt Luke, Tom... read more
A little more than a year into his first term as Ole Miss Athletics Director, Ross Bjork made his first trip to Starkville this week but did so for a good cause. Bjork and Bulldog AD Scott Stricklin joined forces... read more
Despite losing the All-American twin duo of Marcel and Chris Thiemann and playing in the toughest conference in America, Ole Miss finished the 2013 regular season with a ranking of No. 7 in the nation.The regular season was highlighted by... read more
Injuries have riddled the Ole Miss football team this spring, and after evaluating the situation this week, the coaching staff determined a full scale scrimmage would not be an option for this year's BancorpSouth Grove Bowl. As a result, the... read more