Rebels outlast Kentucky in wild slugfest, 12-10

Published 12:36 am Sunday, April 17, 2011

In a deceptively crucial series, Ole Miss is doing what it needs to in order to stay in the race for a Southeastern Conference tournament spot.

Matt Tracy and Matt Smith each drove in three runs, and the Rebels scored in each of the first six innings Saturday to outlast Kentucky 12-10.

The Rebels’ second straight win in the series likely eliminated the Wildcats (17-19, 2-12 SEC) from contention for one of the eight postseason bids to the SEC Tournament. Ole Miss (22-14, 7-7), meanwhile, kept pace in a jumbled pack of six teams chasing seven bids.

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Tracy’s two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth gave Ole Miss a 9-3 lead, and they extended it to 12-3 on an RBI double by Matt Snyder in the sixth.

Kentucky, though, staged a furious comeback late. Braden Kapteyn’s two-run single keyed a four-run rally in the seventh, and he added an RBI double in the eighth to cut it to 12-10.

The Wildcats then loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth before Bobby Wahl got Chad Wright to fly out to left to end it. It was the second straight day Kentucky left the tying run in scoring position in the ninth inning.

Kapteyn and Taylor Black each had two hits and three RBIs for Kentucky. Smith and Tracy had two hits apiece for Ole Miss, while Tanner Mathis had three.

Each team had 14 hits and at least one run was scored in every inning except the ninth.

“This was a crazy, crazy game,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “The fact that we were up 12-3 and they were able to come so close to matching us wasn’t because of errors or mistakes, it was simply because they got good at-bats against our guys and were able to string together hits.”

Southern Miss 14, New Orleans 1

Southern Miss (26-8) used a pair of seven-run innings to hammer overmatched New Orleans (3-31) for the second consecutive day.

Jared Bales went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored for Southern Miss, while Tyler Koelling was 3-for-5 with a double, triple, four RBIs and two runs scored.

In the first two games of the three-game series in Hattiesburg, Southern Miss has outscored UNO 25-1. The Golden Eagles put up seven runs in the first inning Saturday and seven more in the seventh.

“We came here to win, and that’s what we did,” said USM coach Scott Berry. “I would have liked to spread out the scoring a little bit, but it’s hard to recover from the big inning, and that’s what we put on (New Orleans) in the first.”

Auburn 3, LSU 1

Casey McElroy belted a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to give Auburn (20-14, 7-7 SEC) a victory over LSU (22-13, 3-11). It was the third time in four SEC games that LSU has given up the winning run in an opponent’s final at-bat.

LSU’s Kevin Gausman pitched 8 1/3 innings, striking out eight and allowing only five hits, but took the loss after giving up McElroy’s homer.

Tennessee 2-1, Alabama 1-0

Steven Gruver allowed one unearned run in a seven-inning complete game to lead Tennessee (21-15, 4-11) to a 2-1 victory over Alabama (24-15, 8-7 SEC) in the first game of a doubleheader in Tuscaloosa.

In game two, Matt Duffy’s RBI double in the first inning stood up as the Volunteers completed the sweep, 1-0.

Vanderbilt 6, South Carolina 4

Tony Kemp went 5-for-5, and Aaron Westlake and Mike Yastrzemski drove in two runs apiece as Vanderbilt (32-4, 11-3 SEC) beat South Carolina (27-7, 11-3) to even the series between national powers.