By School Reports
NASHVILLE – The Ole Miss baseball team closed the regular season in troubling fashion, with Saturday’s 6-3 loss to Vanderbilt wrapping up the No. 25 Rebels’ first winless SEC series of the season.
Ole Miss (34-22, 14-16 SEC) will take a four-game losing streak into Tuesday’s SEC Tournament opener, a 9:30 a.m. game against fourth-seeded Kentucky (41-15, 16-12) at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala.
“It was a tough weekend,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We never got it going this weekend. … After a weekend like this, you have to turn the page heading into the postseason. We have to find ourselves in Hoover.”
The Rebels never found themselves in Nashville, getting outscored 15-5 and stranding 27 runners in the process.
R.J. Hively (5-5) took the loss for Ole Miss, allowing four runs – three earned – on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 31/3 innings of work. Two relievers yielded six hits and two more runs.
“Vanderbilt is really playing well and they made R.J. work as much as anyone has all season,” Bianco said.
Kevin Ziomek (4-6) picked up the win as he held the Rebels to two runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 5 innings of work. Will Clinard picked up his fourth save of the season, recording the final out with a strikeout while Ole Miss had men at the corners and had cut the lead to three runs on a sac fly from Matt Snyder.
Two hitters accounted for half of the 12 hits for Ole Miss on Saturday, leadoff hitter Tanner Mathis (3 for 4) and No. 5 hitter Auston Bousfield (3 for 3). Matt Snyder (1 for 4) drove in a pair of runs.
The series sweep pushed the Commodores’ winning streak to a season-best five games and was their first SEC sweep of the season. Vandy went 10-5 over the second half of the SEC campaign, while Ole Miss went 8-7.
Vandy’s men also finished a clean sweep for 2011-12 against Ole Miss, with a win in the fall in football and two wins in basketball.
Vanderbilt second baseman Tony Kemp went 4 for 5 and scored three runs. In the first, Kemp singled, strole second and took third on a throwing error, then scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 1.