OMAHA, Neb. – The Rebels’ run in the College World Series ended Saturday as No. 4 Ole Miss (48-21) fell to No. 1 Virginia (52-14) by a score of 4-1.
The Rebels and Cavaliers resumed the elimination game Saturday after it was suspended in the second inning due to inclement weather on Friday night. Ole Miss got out of a jam once the game resumed and took the lead in the bottom of the second, but Virginia would rally with a three-run fourth inning to take the lead on the way to the win.
Chris Ellis (10-3) suffered the loss for the Rebels in his first relief appearance of the season, entering the game to start the third and allowing three runs on four hits with three walks in 3.2 innings of work.
Josh Sborz (6-4) picked up the win, allowing the one run on four hits with four walks and four strikeouts. Sborz started the game on Friday night and took the mound for the Cavs again on Saturday when the game resumed, working 5.0 innings in the start.
“First of all, I'd like to congratulate Virginia,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “They just make it very hard on you. Man, they're good. They're just outstanding ball club, and obviously deserve to win. I’m proud of our guys. As I just said to them to them out in the outfield, you don't ever want to come this short, especially when you're this close to winning the national championship.
But this is a special group of guys, special group of older guys. Three of the guys sitting next to me, great leadership, and kind were such great mentors to the younger group that is so talented, but weren't sure what to do when they got here. These guys put them on their back and were tremendous all year.”
Virginia looked to get on the board in the second inning by taking advantage of a fielding error at shortstop put the leadoff man on base. A single through the left side from Brandon Downes moved Derek Fisher to second as lightning struck and sent the game into a weather delay before being suspended until Saturday.
Right-hander Scott Weathersby took the mound in the resumed game as the Cavs used a sac bunt to push the runners into scoring position. The junior then struck out Robbie Coman to put two away before a groundout from Branden Cogswell ended the inning and the Rebels escaped the jam.
Ellis then took the mound for Ole Miss to start the third with a 1-0 lead on Virginia.
The Rebels got off to a quick start in the third with a leadoff single from Errol Robinson and a wild pitch that moved him into scoring position. Austin Knight then lay down a sac bunt to move him to third before Braxton Lee would draw a walk to put men at the corners. A wild pitch then moved Lee into scoring position pushing Virginia to make a mound visit.
A strikeout followed the conference on the hill before Austin Anderson would draw a two-out walk to load the bases for the Rebels. A lineout to third ended the inning, though Ole Miss maintained the 1-0 lead on the Cavaliers.
Virginia answered in the fourth, taking advantage of a leadoff walk to tie the game. With a man on first and one out, the Cavs executed a hit-and-run with a single through the right side from Brandon Downes that sent Joe McCarthy to third. A walk then loaded the bases and Ole Miss called time for a mound visit to try to settle things.
Coman then came up with the hit in his second chance of the day with runners in scoring position, sending a two-RBI single to right center to put the Cavs on top 2-1 and leave men at the corners.
The runs continued with a sac bunt to bring a third run home in the inning as Ole Miss fell behind 3-1 before the Rebels would get out of the inning with a pop up to second.
Virginia added to the lead in the seventh to move in front 4-1 on a two-out double to right center from Joe McCarthy that scored Daniel Pinero from third. Pinero reached on a single to lead off the inning and then took second on a sac bunt. A groundout to second moved him to third and set up the score on the McCarthy hit before Ole Miss would get out of the inning.
The Rebels were unable to mount a rally down the stretch as the Virginia bullpen held Ole Miss in check down the stretch to close out the game.
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