‘Dores slam Ole Miss with late-inning surge

Published 11:27 pm Friday, May 18, 2012

Ole Miss’ offense sputtered for the second straight night, while Vanderbilt’s hitters got going late.

Spencer Navin snapped a scoreless tie with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning, sparking a four-run rally that propelled Vanderbilt to a 6-2 victory over Ole Miss on Friday night.

Vanderbilt added two runs in the eighth inning, which is as many as Ole Miss has scored in the first two games of the series. The Rebels were shut out in Thursday’s opener, 4-0, and didn’t score until the eighth inning of Friday’s game.

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Tanner Mathis had three hits for Ole Miss (34-21, 14-15 Southeastern Conference), which left 12 runners on base.

The series — and regular-season — finale is today at 2 p.m. in Nashville.

“It was a tough game for us,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “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.”

The Rebels’ pitching kept them in the game Friday. Mayers, the starting pitcher, allowed just two hits and no runs in the first six innings. He left after giving up a leadoff single to Anthony Gomez in the seventh, and the bullpen couldn’t keep the Commodores (27-25, 15-14) in check.

Chris Ellis gave up a single to Conrad Gregor, then uncorked a wild pitch to put runners at second and third with no outs. Navin followed with an RBI single to bring in the game’s first run, and Riley Reynolds brought in another with a squeeze bunt single two batters later.

An error and an RBI single by Vince Conde made it 4-0.

Ole Miss scratched a run across in the eighth inning, but Navin came through again with a two-run single in the bottom half to make it 6-1.

Three Ole Miss relievers — Ellis, Hawtin Buchanan and Sam Smith — combined to allowed five runs on eight hits in two innings.

“You could tell their pitcher was starting to run down once he gave up that walk. Then once we got in that bullpen we felt pretty confident, Navin said.

Ole Miss cut it to 6-2 on an RBI single by Matt Snyder in the ninth, but left two runners on base.

Navin finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBIs for Vanderbilt, and Gregor went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Gomez had two hits and scored twice.