Sometimes you don’t play your best, and you find a way to win anyway.
That wasn’t what happened tonight. Ole Miss was not able to break through against Virginia left-hander Nathan Kirby or his relief help.
Because the Rebels made the plays defensively — one of them an Auston Bousfield back-to-the-infield on-the-run catch that should be a CWS highlight for years to come — they were in position to win.
But the Cavaliers turned Aaron Greenwood’s leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth into the winning run with Greenwood caught too much of the plate, and Mike Papi drove the ball to the track in right-center. With the Ole Miss outfield playing shallow enough to try and throw out a runner at the plate, there was no catching up to Papi’s hit.
We got a little video from Mike Bianco here until the NCAA asked us to shut things down:
The Rebels had only one hit, a leadoff single in the third by Errol Robinson, who was quickly erased on a caught stealing. THe play was a hit-and-run, and Preston Overbey was not able to make contact on an outside pitch, and Robinson was caught in a rundown.
Ole Miss scored its run in the eight after Kirby finally began to tire. He issued back to back walks to Sikes Orvis and Colby Bortles. Cameron Dishon came into run for Orvis, and Robinson bunted the runners ahead. With one out, pinch-hitter Holt Perdzock drove in the run with a ground ball.
That was the only inning that Ole Miss mounted any kind of pressure.
Virginia had eight hits and left 11 runners on base.
Chris Ellis was better than he was at La.-Lafayette. There was still some early wildness, but the Cavs were not able to cash in with a big hit against him the way the Cajuns did.
Jeremy Massie threw a scoreless innings, and Greenwood was scoreless until he gave up his only hit in the ninth. Unfortunately, it followed a walk.
Ole Miss (46-20) will face Texas Tech Tuesday at 2 in an elimination game. The Rebels will be the home team.