COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Ole Miss got the early lead on Monday night, but for only the fourth time this season the Rebels suffered a loss when scoring in the first inning as Ole Miss (37-26) fell to TCU (40-20) by a score of 7-4 in an elimination game at the College Station Regional.
With the loss, the Rebels end their season while TCU will advance to face UCLA in a Super Regional next weekend in Los Angeles.
It marks the ninth time in the last 10 seasons Ole Miss has played in an NCAA Regional and the sixth time the Rebels have played for the regional title. Four of those times, the Rebels have advanced to play in a Super Regional.
Bobby Wahl (7-4) took the loss for the Rebels, working on two days rest after picking up the win over TCU in the regional opener on Friday night. Wahl allowed four runs on five hits with a walk and five strikeouts in 4.1 innings of work.
Justin Scharf (4-2) picked up the win in relief as he held the Rebels to one run over the final 4.2 innings. E allowed four hits with a walk and a strikeout in that time.
"They just played better than we did," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. "We showed a lot of guts out there tonight with Bobby (Wahl) and Mike Mayers pitching on short rest. They really gutted it out for us and gave us what they had. TCU was just a better club tonight and last night. They found themselves here at this regional."
Ole Miss scored first, pushing a single run home in the top of the first inning when Matt Snyder grounded out to second to drive in Tanner Mathis from third. Mathis opened the game with a double before taking third on a groundout from Alex Yarbrough to set up the score on the Snyder hit.
TCU tied things up in the fourth with a solo home run from Josh Elander that knotted the score at one. A second solo shot put the Horned Frogs in the lead when Jantzen Witte sent one over the wall in left field with one out on the board.
The Rebels moved back in front with two runs in the fifth inning as Ole Miss got an RBI single from Yarbrough that scored Andrew Mistone from second and moved Mathis from first to third. Singles from Mistone and Mathis put the two men on board for the Yarbrough hit to tie the game.
TCU then changed pitchers and intentionally walked Snyder to load the bases and bring Zach Kirksey to the plate. Kirksey then hit a sac fly to left field to bring home Mathis and put Ole Miss on top 3-2.
The Horned Frogs tied it up in the bottom half of the inning with a groundout to third from Keaton Jones that scored Josh Gonzales from third. Gonzales reached on a walk and stole second before advancing to third on a single from Brance Rivera to set up the score on the groundout from Jones.
A single up the middle from the next Horned Frog batter drove in Rivera and put TCU up 4-3. Ole Miss then turned to its bullpen for Mike Mayers. The sophomore right-hander got the Rebels out of the inning with no more damage and held Ole Miss within striking distance down only one run after five complete.
TCU pushed the lead out to two runs in the sixth inning with an RBI double from Rivera with two outs to make it 5-3 in favor of the Horned Frogs.
Momentum continued to be on the side of the Frogs in the seventh as TCU plated two more runs to push the lead out to 7-3.
Ole Miss mounted a rally in the ninth inning, pushing a run across after back-to-back singles to open the inning and a fielder's choice put men at the corners with one out. Mathis then singled through the right side to score a pinch running Blake Newalu and make it 7-4. TCU turned a double play to end the game, however, and picked up the win.
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