BASEBALL: Bulldogs, Rebels fall

By School Reports

No. 16 Rebels drop game two after late rally by No. 1 Florida

Ole Miss Media Relations
OXFORD, Miss. – It was a back-and-forth battle through seven innings, but a six-run rally in the eighth inning proved to be too much for the Rebels to overcome as No. 16 Ole Miss (19-8, 4-4 SEC) fell to No. 1 Florida (24-3, 6-2 SEC) by a score of 9-4 on Saturday.

Ole Miss held a 3-2 lead after seven innings, but Florida pushed home six runs in the eighth inning to put the game out of reach and even the weekend series at a game each. The Rebels picked up the Friday night win 3-0 over the Gators.

The two teams will face each other at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday with the weekend series on the line at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.

“You have to play all nine and we played pretty well through the seventh,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “The truth of the matter is that we left a lot of opportunities out there. We had chances if we had just got another hit here or there we could have extended the lead. They made us pay for that in the eighth. They were able to put together an amazing inning to put us away and win the game.

“R.J. Hively gave us great effort just like he has done just about every weekend,” Bianco said. “It was a gutsy performance against a very good offense. He once again gave us the opportunity to win and we didn’t win it for him.”

Reliever Dylan Chavez (3-1) took the loss for the Rebels, allowing four runs on five hits in the eighth inning. Chavez had entered the game to relieve Hively in the sixth inning and got the Rebels out of a jam with two outs on two pitches, but Florida got the better of the left-hander in the eighth inning.

Hively worked 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on eight hits with two walks and eight strikeouts.

Johnny Magliozzi (4-0) picked up the win for the Gators, facing two batters and recording an out before Florida would rally in the eighth. Magliozzi came into the game with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh and got a fly out to end the Rebel scoring threat with Ole Miss holding a 3-2 lead.

The Gators scored first, pushing a run home in the first inning when Mike Zunino scored on a single to right from Brian Johnson. Zunino doubled in the previous at bat to set up the score on the Johnson hit.

Ole Miss answered in the fourth, getting a two-run home run from Will Allen that scored Matt Snyder. Snyder reached on a fielding error on a grounder to second to set up the go-ahead shot from Allen.

Florida pushed a single run home in the top of the fifth to tie the score at two, but once again the Rebels answered. Ole Miss moved back in front 3-2 when Zach Kirksey – who drew a lead-off walk – scored on a single through the right side from Alex Yarbrough.

The 3-2 lead held for the Rebels until the eighth when Florida got four straight hits, including a three-run home run from Vickash Ramjit, to push back into the lead for good with a six-run inning. The Gators led 8-3 after eight innings of play.

Florida pushed a final run home in the ninth before Ole Miss would get a solo home run from Snyder for the final score of 9-4.

Auburn evens series with 10-6 win over Bulldogs

MSU Media Relations
AUBURN, Ala. – Down six runs, the Mississippi baseball team battled back and eventually brought the potential game-tying run to the plate. However, a strikeout snuffed that threat as the Diamond Dawgs dropped a 10-6 decision to No. 24 Auburn in a Southeastern Conference baseball game played at Plainsman Park.

“Our kids are competing but we are giving away too many at-bats in the middle of our order with some young guys,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “We have young players not evaluating the breaking pitches well enough. We may have to give up some defensive prowess to get more players in the lineup who can evaluate pitches.”

With the defeat, the Bulldogs fell to 18-10 overall and 3-5 in league play. Auburn improved to 16-11 and 5-3. For a second straight Sunday, the Bulldogs will go to the final day of the weekend trying to win the rubber game of a three-game series.

MSU won the series opener, 5-3 Friday night. The Maroon and White have not taken a series in this ballpark since 2004.

“I felt like we should have won the series today but since we didn’t, we have no other choice but to come out and bring it Sunday,” MSU sophomore shortstop Adam Frazier said. “The effort is there and the intensity is there. Right now, we are having a difficult time executing two games in a row.

“We show glimpses of what we can do. If we can get better at the execution, we will be hard a team to beat.”

Frazier again set the tone for the Bulldogs Saturday by reaching base in all five plate appearances. Frazier had two hits and three walks and has now reached safely in 14 of his last 15 plate appearances.

“When Adam Frazier bats, I want grab our whole lineup and tell them to watch,” Cohen said. “We need nine Adam Fraziers to move this thing forward because of his ability to evaluate pitches. We need some emulation.”

The Bulldogs fell down 6-0 quickly Saturday. Starting pitcher Nick Routt was lifted after facing two batters in the third inning. Routt (1-4) allowed four hits and five runs (three earned), with one strikeout and three walks. Five hurlers followed Routt to the mound and kept the Bulldogs in the contest.

Down 6-0, the Bulldogs scored three times in the seventh inning. Again, Frazier started things with a leadoff walk. Mitch Slauter reached on an Auburn error. After a walk to Trey Porter, Hunter Renfroe followed with an infield single. A sacrifice-fly by C.T. Bradford brought the inning’s second run home. An RBI-single by Wes Rea plated the third run.

The Tigers then moved to the bullpen. Winning pitcher Will Kendall (4-0) was done after 6.1 innings of four-hit baseball, allowing three runs (two earned), with four strikeouts and two walks. Jay Wade worked Auburn out of the seventh inning before later being touched for the three-run ninth inning.

As quickly as the Bulldogs narrowed the gap, the Tigers again expanded it. Auburn scored four times in the home half of the seventh inning to run its lead to 10-3.

In the ninth inning, an RBI-double by Phillip Casey and an RBI-single by Tyler Fullerton were the big blows. MSU left the bases loaded, leaving seven stranded for the contest.

The Bulldogs finished with eight hits, including two by Frazier. Sam Frost saw his five-game hit streak snapped.

Auburn finished with 12 hits, including multi-hit games by Jay Gonzalez, Garrett Cooper, Cullen Wacker and Zach Alvord. Blake Austin had a team-high four RBIs.

The series finale is at 1 p.m. Sunday.