By Parrish Alford
LAFAYETTE, La. – Omaha hopes are still alive for Ole Miss.
Auston Bousfield scored the go-ahead run when Louisiana-Lafayette center fielder Seth Harrison dropped a fly ball from Will Allen, and the Rebels went on to defeat the Ragin’ Cajuns 5-2 before 4,294 fans at Moore Field Sunday night.
The Lafayette super regional is tied at 1, and tonight’s winner advances to the College World Series, something Ole Miss hasn’t done since 1972.
First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
The Rebels (45-19) tacked on two more runs in the eighth when freshman Colby Bortles came off the bench to deliver a pinch-hit up the middle.
Aaron Greenwood (3-1) picked up the win in relief of Christian Trent, who went seven innings with only one run allowed, and it was unearned. Trent struck out seven.
Greenwood, one of the bull-pen stars of the Oxford Regional, was unable to protect a 2-1 lead, a small cushion provided by Preston Overbey’s solo home run in the bottom of the seventh.
With a much larger cushion in the ninth, he gave up a leadoff double from Caleb Adams, who advanced to third on a ground ball.
That’s where he stayed, however. Greenwood got ground balls from the next two batters – one a tap back to the mound from Harrison who battled him hard with a handful of foul balls – before ending the game with a called strikeout.
With Bousfield at second in the eighth, ULL center fielder Harrison caught up to Allen’s deep fly on the run toward right. He gloved the ball but couldn’t make the catch, and Bousfield scored easily.
It was the second time in the series a dropped fly ball in center field produced a run, through Harrison’s had a greater degree of difficulty than Bousfield’s in Game 1.
The Rebels got on the board early.
Austin Anderson motored all the way around from first on Allen’s double to put Ole Miss ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning.
Lafayette’s Carson Baranik kept the Rebels from extending the lead – they hit into double plays twice in the first four innings – but the Cajuns (58-9) couldn’t break through against Trent.
Until the fifth.
Going through the Cajuns’ order for the second time, Trent started with swinging strikeouts of the five- and six-hole hitters, but ULL rallied with two outs.
Preston Overbey was unable to cleanly field a sharply hit ground ball from Harrison to his right. He came up with the ball, bobbled it and was late with the throw to first.
The next man up, Dylan Butler, doubled to the left field corner. The throw home beat Harrison, but Allen lost it in the collision with Harrison, and the game was tied at 1.
Overbey’s bobble and Allen’s drop were both ruled errors.