Guerrero lifts Rebels in ninth

n Ole Miss advances to semifinal matchup on Saturday.

BY PARRISH ALFORD

Daily Journal

HOOVER, Ala. – Michael Guerrero’s one-out home run, in the bottom of the ninth off the sixth Kentucky pitcher, covered a multitude of sins Thursday night.

Logan Power, who led off with a single, trotted home in front of Guerrero after his shot off Scott Green cleared the left field wall, and the Rebels won a back-and-forth late game against the fourth-seeded Wildcats 8-7 to advance in the winner’s bracket.

Ole Miss will be off today and will play again Saturday with two chances to win one game and advance to Sunday’s championship.

Before the Rebels locked it up with Guerrero’s walk-off, two errors led to two Kentucky unearned runs, including Troy Frazier’s game-tying run in the eighth.

The Cats scored the go ahead run in the top of the ninth after Sawyer Carroll’s leadoff triple and a sacrifice fly.

Ole Miss (36-22) got clutch hitting from Matt Smith, who drove in four runs, but the errors kept Kentucky in the game.

After a Smith blast over the center field wall had regained the lead for the Rebels at 6-5, shortstop Tim Ferguson failed to glove a routine grounder in the eighth, and leadoff batter Troy Frazier reached second base. He was bunted to third and scored on a fielder’s choice.

It was the second straight inning that Kentucky (42-16) made Ole Miss pay for a fielding mistake. It was a 4-4 game in the seventh when third baseman Cody Overbeck’s throwing error put Collin Cowgill at second base. He stole third and scored when Brian Spear singled through the left side of a drawn-in infield.

Smith’s blast off right-hander Brock Baber, the third Kentucky pitcher, easily cleared the wall at straight-away center, 405 feet from home plate. Guerrero singled ahead of Smith and trotted home in front of him.

Parrish Alford blogs about Rebel athletics at djrebel.wordpress.com.