The Ole Miss offense, noticeably absent in the Rebels’ first two CWS games, cranked out six runs on 11 hits against five different TCU pitchers and chased right-handed starter Tyler Alexander after just 3.1 innings.
Ole Miss starter Sam Smith also lasted 3.1 innings. The transition from Smith to the bullpen was kind of shaky. After Braxton Lee and Will Allen had RBI hits to give the Rebels a 3-0 lead, TCU responded with two hits and three walks against Smith — the the third walk driving in TCU’s second run — before Josh Laxer was ready.
Laxer got a big swinging strikeout for the second out but walked in a run before getting out of the inning with the game tied at three.
Laxer also gave up a solo home run to TCU’s Kevin Cron, but on the whole his line was not bad, just the one walk, one hit and one run in 2.2 innings.
Wyatt Short worked around two walks and went 1.2 scoreless innings.
After Short got a big swinging strikeout on a left-on-left matchup, Aaron Greenwood got the last out of the eighth with some help from shortstop Errol Robinson who made a nifty play to his left on a ground ball.
Greenwood set the Frogs down in order in the ninth, but this was was about offense.
Here’s Auston Bousfield:
Will Allen and Sikes Orvis were a combined 6-for-11 with two doubles and five RBIs. They teamed up in in the ninth to deliver a big insurance run as Allen reached on a two-out double, and Orvis drove him home with a double to left field corner that was just inches fair, maybe less.
They each had three hits.
Allen played DH in the game, not catcher, because of a shoulder injury that’s gotten worse, not better. It’s unclear how he’ll be used tomorrow night against Virginia, a 7 p.m. start.
Austin Knight was the catcher and was part of a defense the played its third straight errorless game in the CWS.
Speaking of defense, John Gatlin got in some time at second base in the ninth, and the ball found him, as it usually does. He responded with the throw to first.
Ole Miss (48-20) is done if it loses to Virginia. If the Rebels win, they’ll face the Cavs again on Saturday.
In his postgame presser Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco did not name a starting pitcher. He said that decision will be made later tonight or tomorrow morning. Speaking of tomorrow, it’s only about a half hour away.
Finishing up here with Greenwood: