By Parrish Alford
OXFORD – All good things come to an end.
The problem for Ole Miss Saturday was that when it did, the other thing didn’t kick it up a notch.
The scoreless innings streak for Ole Miss pitching ended at 48 as No. 24 Vanderbilt homered three times and went on to defeat No. 16 Ole Miss 6-2 before 9,010 fans at Swayze Field.
The series is tied at 1 with Game 3 Sunday at 3.
Ole Miss pitching had put together a school-record five consecutive shutouts, but during that window the Rebels (13-6, 1-1 SEC) averaged just 2.8 runs.
That unfortunate trend continued. The Rebels had six against four Vanderbilt pitchers, one of them a solo home run by Thomas Dillard that made it a 4-2 game in the seventh.
It was 5-2 in the eighth when Colby Bortles’ deep fly ball died at the track in right-center with two on. The Commodores (13-7, 1-1) scored a run in the ninth.
Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco says bright spots are hard to see this weekend.
“I think we’re starting collectively to do better, but it’s tough to see against a pitching staff like this,” he said.
The Rebels had six hits in a 1-0 win Friday.
The next day their best chance to climb back into things in the middle innings came in the bottom of the sixth.
Trailing 4-1 they got a leadoff double from Will Golsan. Then Ryan Olenek was hit by a pitch, a call overturned after Bianco long argued the original ruling.
With two on and no outs Tate Blackman singled, but Golsan was thrown out at home by Vanderbilt left fielder Stephen Scott, and Olenek was thrown out at third.
Scott’s depth in the outfield and the fact that he’s not an everyday player made sending Golsan worth the risk, Bianco said.
“It was a terrific throw then a base-running error by us to squelch the rally. When you’re having trouble chaining it together you can’t make mistakes like that.”
The scoreless innings streak ended at 48 when Will Toffey hammered a two-run shot into the right field bullpen off Ole Miss starter Brady Feigl.
The next man up, Scott followed in the same spot, and it was 3-1 in the fourth inning.
Olenek says the Rebels remain upbeat offensively.
“They threw some really good arms. We’re confident we’re going to get really good swings off. We couldn’t piece it together today, and when we did, things didn’t fall for us. We’ll figure it out.”
Vanderbilt 6, Ole Miss 2
Vanderbilt 000 301 011 – 6 9 0
Ole Miss 001 000 100 – 2 6 1
WP: Patrick Raby (3-2). LP: Brady Feigl (2-2). Multiple Hits: (VU) Jeren Kendall, Stephen Scott, Jason Delay. (OM) Will Golsan 2. 2B: (VU) Scott. (OM) Golsan. HR: (VU) Kendall, Will Toffey, Scott. (OM) Thomas Dillard. DP: Vanderbilt 1. LOB: Vanderbilt 6, Ole Miss 7. T: 3:15. A: 9,010. Records: Ole Miss 13-6, 1-1 SEC; Vanderbilt 13-7, 1-1 SEC
Notes: Game 3 is Sunday at 3 and will be televised by The SEC Network.