NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For the second straight night a Rebel pitcher tossed a gem in the start, but the offense couldn’t get things going as No. 22 Ole Miss (34-21, 14-15 SEC) fell to Vanderbilt (28-25, 15-14 SEC) by a score of 6-2.
Mike Mayers (4-3) allowed one run on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts through 6.0 innings of work. He took the loss after leaving the game with no score, but a man on first with no outs in the sixth. That run went on to score, tagging him with the loss on the night.
Drew VerHagen (5-2) picked up the relief win, entering the game in the seventh inning with one out and working 0.2 innings as he allowed a walk and got two outs to get Vanderbilt out of the seventh inning. The Commodores took the lead in the bottom half of the seventh to give him the win.
“It was a tough game for us,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We played great the first six innings, but they got the two hits in the seventh and it opened up the flood gates a bit. It’s about confidence and you could see once they scored, it kept coming. We didn’t get the timely hit early, but if we had it might have been a different outcome with the way Mike (Mayers) pitched.”
Vanderbilt got on the board first, breaking up the pitcher’s duel in the seventh inning with a single up the middle from Spencer Navin. Back-to-back singles from Anthony Gomez and Conrad Gregor put men at the corners with no outs before the Navin single drove in the first run.
Riley Reynolds then lay down a bunt single to score Gregor from third and put men at first and second with the Commodores up 2-0. Vanderbilt executed a double steal, but a throwing error on the attempt to put out the lead runner sailed into left field, allowing a third run to score. Ole Miss fielded the ball in left on the play and threw to second to try to get the trailing runner, but that throw also sailed wide to the fence down the right field line and allowed Reynolds to go to third base on the play.
Reynolds then scored on a single from Vince Conde to make it 4-0 before the Rebels would get out of the inning.
Ole Miss got on the board in the top of the eighth when Sikes Orvis came up with an RBI double to right center to drive in Zach Kirksey from first, but the one run was all the Rebels would get in the inning to make it 4-1.
Vanderbilt responded in the bottom half of the inning, getting a two-out single to right from Navin with two men in scoring position to take the lead out to 6-1 in favor of the Commodores.
Ole Miss got a second run in the ninth when Matt Snyder came up with a single to right with two men on and two outs, but the Rebels got nothing more as Vanderbilt claimed the series with the win.
The two teams will play the series with the regular-season finale at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Hawkins Field.
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