By Parrish Alford
OMAHA, Neb. – A stagnant Ole Miss offense sprang to life at TD Ameritrade Park on Thursday night, and the Rebels have life in the College World Series for at least one more day.
Will Allen and Sikes Orvis were a combined for 6-for-11 with two doubles and five RBIs, and the Rebels eliminated TCU 6-4 before 25,783 fans to emerge from the loser’s bracket for a second chance at Virginia.
Two chances, if things go the Rebels’ way.
The Cavaliers defeated Ole Miss (48-20) with a walk-off double on Sunday. The Rebels will have to beat Virginia tonight at 7 and again Saturday to reach the championship round.
On Thursday, they looked like they could give themselves a shot.
While splitting its first two CWS games, the Rebels had managed only six hits and three runs. Facing elimination for a second time Ole Miss managed 11 hits against five TCU pitchers, chasing starter Tyler Alexander after 31⁄3 innings.
Allen, playing at designated hitter and not catcher, had a two-run double in a three-run third and later had an RBI hit in the seventh to put the Rebels ahead 5-4.
He reached with a two-out single in the ninth and scored an insurance run when Orvis’ double to the left field corner was fair by inches – or less.
The game was in the hands of the bullpens early, and Ole Miss got solid relief down the stretch from freshman Wyatt Short who went 12⁄3 scoreless innings before Aaron Greenwood got the last out of the eighth with a ground ball to short – a nifty play by Errol Robinson moving to his left – with the tying and go-ahead runs at third and second.
Orvis stroked a run-scoring single to right in the fifth for a 4-3 advantage, but TCU (48-18) got a solo home run from its first baseman Kevin Cron to tie the game in the bottom of the frame.
The Rebels reached half of their previous CWS hit total in the third with three runs on three hits.
J.B. Woodman started with a bloop double, dropping a ball in front of TCU center fielder Cody Jones then taking second when Jones couldn’t immediately find it.
Austin Knight bunted Woodman to third, and Braxton Lee scored him with solid shot up the middle.
Auston Bousfield was then hit by a pitch, and both runners scored easily when Allen’s line drive split the center and right fielders and reached the 375 sign on the track before either one retrieved it. That put Ole Miss ahead 3-0.
The middle innings have been the undoing late in the season for Ole Miss right-hander Sam Smith, and they were again.
He set the Frogs down in order in third but struggled with location in the fourth, giving up two hits and three walks.
TCU tied the game at three, scoring twice on bases-loaded walks, one from Smith and one from Josh Laxer.
The fourth finally ended with a nice over-the-shoulder catch from Woodman, the right fielder, that likely saved three runs.
Read more at InsideOleMissSports.com.