Rebels down TAMU in Game 1
Published 11:27 am Friday, May 16, 2014
With one big inning, Ole Miss took an even bigger step toward the SEC West championship.
The Rebels exploded for six runs in the top of the fifth inning to take the lead for good, and went on to beat Texas A&M 8-4 Thursday night.
The win maintained Ole Miss’ one-game lead over Mississippi State in the SEC West standings. Ole Miss won the season series against the Bulldogs, and can clinch the division title with one more win over A&M.
Ole Miss (39-15, 18-10 Southeastern Conference) can also clinch one of the four first-round byes in the league tournament with another win or a Vanderbilt loss.
Preston Overbey and Will Allen each drove in two runs for Ole Miss, but it was really the Aggies who helped the game get out of hand.
A walk, two errors and a hit batter brought in two runs to tie the game, and set the table for Allen’s sacrifice fly that put the Rebels ahead.
J.B. Woodman then delivered an RBI single and Overbey a two-run single to make it 6-2.
“We always tell our pitchers, ‘We score, you score. How fast can you get us back in here?’” Texas A&M coach Rob Childress said. “We walk that leadoff hitter and we make three mistakes defensively, and it came unwound on us.”
The Aggies crept back into the game with a solo home run by Troy Stein, and an RBI single by Nick Banks in the seventh inning that cut it to 6-4.
A&M got two runners on base in the eighth inning, but couldn’t score. Stein worked a walk, but was thrown out trying to steal as Jonathan Moroney struck out for a momentum-killing double play. Jace Statum followed with a single up the middle, but was left on base.
In the ninth, back-to-back doubles by Austin Anderson and Allen, and a pinch-hit RBI single by Colby Bortles gave Ole Miss a pair of insurance runs and an 8-4 lead.
“I thought we played good for most of the game. We had one inning where a couple free base runners, a couple errors, set up an inning for them, and then they got some big hits. They got hits when they needed them,” Stein said.
Chris Ellis (9-0) scattered eight hits and allowed three runs — two on solo homers by Stein and Logan Nottebrok — in 6 2/3 innings to get the win. Ellis walked one and struck out two.
Aaron Greenwood pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief for his third save of the season.
LSU 10, Auburn 0
Freshman left-hander Jared Poche’ threw eight shutout innings LSU (38-14-1, 15-11-1) pounded out 15 hits en route to an easy victory over Auburn (28-26, 10-18).
LSU has scored 37 runs on 38 hits in its last two games while posting two shutouts. Thursday’s victory was its school-record 16th shutout of the season.
USM vs. Charlotte, ppd.
Southern Miss’ series opener at Charlotte was postponed by rain on Thursday. The game will be made up as the first half of a doubleheader beginning today at noon.
The series finale is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday.