OXFORD – After getting within a game of the College World Series in 2005 and 2006, Ole Miss fans may have thought they couldn’t get closer to the CWS without qualifying for the eight-team field.
That was not the case.
The Rebels seemed to have momentum on their side and were within five outs of Omaha when an error on a routine ground ball by second baseman Evan Button opened the door and Virginia came crashing through.
The Cavaliers scored twice in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 4-3 win in Game 2 of the best-of-three NCAA Super Regional.
Ole Miss won Game 1 4-3 in 12 innings on a walk-off home run by Matt Smith.
Virginia won Game 3 5-1 to put a damper on three days of electric crowds at newly renovated Swayze Field.
“It was two teams that for three straight days just battled and left everything out on the field. At the end of the day you had to tip your hat to the University of Virginia,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “They played better than us, and they did more to win the games.”
The Rebels reached the super regional round for the fourth time in five years under Bianco and were going for the program’s first CWS berth since 1972.
In 2005 and 2006 the Rebels also won super regional openers in Oxford.
The baseball team went 44-20 overall, 20-10 in the SEC regular season to earn a share of the championship with LSU.
The Rebels won the four-team regional at home to advance to the super regional.
A pitching staff that had been deep most of the season was made thinner by injuries near the end. Ole Miss was without its No. 1 pitcher, Scott Bittle, for the season’s final month.
Ole Miss Top 10
1.Baseball narrowly misses CWS berth in Oxford Super Regional
2.Football achieves a No. 4 national ranking
3.Devin Britton wins the NCAA tennis men’s singles championship
4.Baseball goes 20-10, shares SEC regular season overall title
5.Former Ole Miss athlete Brittney Reese wins gold in long jump at world championships
6.Basketball coach Andy Kennedy pleads guilty to disorderly conduct after simple assault charge
7.Coming off back surgery Barnabas Kirui wins second SEC cross country title
8.Men’s tennis wins SEC regular season, tournament, advances to Elite Eight
9.Summer of hype has football team in possible BCS bowl, Snead as Heisman hopeful
10.Tupelo native helps soccer team to NCAA tournament
Parrish Alford/ NEMS Daily Journal