CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Today is do-or-die for the Ole Miss Diamond Rebels. Ole Miss will face St. John’s for the second time in the Charlottesville Regional. The winner earns the right to play Virginia at 6 p.m. The loser’s season is over.
Ole Miss (39-23)
CF Tim Ferguson
C Miles Hamblin
1B Matt Smith
DH Matt Snyder
3B Zach Miller
RF Taylor Hashman
2B Alex Yarbrough
SS Kevin Mort
LF Tanner Mathis
RHP David Goforth (1-5, 8.41 ERA)
St. John’s (41-19)
CF Jimmy Brennan
2B Matt Wessinger
SS Joe Panik
LF Jeremy Baltz
RF Jimmy Parque
3B Greg Hopkins
1B Paul Karmas
DH Sean O’Hare
C Joe Witkowski
RHP Bruce Kern (6-5, 5.91 ERA)
*The game will not be televised, but can be heard on 93.7 FM and 105.5 FM.
Ole Miss 0, St. John’s 8 (Bottom 1): St. John’s took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Following a triple by Matt Wessinger off the “Blue Monster” in center field, Joe Panik grounded out allowing the second baseman to score without a play. Ole Miss starter David Goforth continued to struggle and after two walks and a single to load the bases, singles up the middle by Paul Karmas and Sean O’Hare put SJU ahead 4-0. After allowing six straight batters to reach safely, right-hander Trent Rothlin entered the game in relief of Goforth. The change didn’t pay dividends right away as the first two batters tallied hits. The second, Wessinger, hit a double to left-center to put SJU ahead 8-0.
Ole Miss 3, St. John’s 8 (Top 2): Ole Miss responded quickly with some offense of its own. Following singles by Zach Miller and Taylor Hashman, Alex Yarbrough hit a triple into the right-center alley. Later, Tim Ferguson grounded into a fielders choice, allowing Yarbrough to score.
Ole Miss 4, St. John’s 8 (Top 3): Hashman hit into a double play in the top of the third, but the hit was able to score Matt Smith from third to cut SJU’s lead in half.
Ole Miss 5, St. John’s 8 (Top 4): Following a leadoff double by Kevin Mort, a Tanner Mathis single under the glove of Karmas at first base scored the Rebel shortstop.
Ole Miss 5, St. John’s 9 (Bottom 4): SJU got back on the scoreboard in the fourth. After Jeremy Baltz was hit to open the frame, he scored on a Jimmy Parque double into the left field corner.
Ole Miss 6, St. John’s 9 (Top 5): Matt Snyder placed a 1-0 pitch from Kern over the left field wall to leadoff the fifth inning.
Ole Miss 6, St. John’s 10 (Bottom 5): SJU responded for the second straight inning. This time, a single up the middle by Jimmy Parque scored Jimmy Brennan.
Ole Miss 6, St. John’s 15 (Bottom 6): The Red Storm pushed its lead to nine runs with a two-RBI double by Brennan followed by an RBI-single by Wessinger. A two-run homer by Panik off of Brett Huber rounded out SJU’s scoring.
Ole Miss 7, St. John’s 15 (Top 7): With the bases loaded and no outs, Hashman hit into a fielders choice to score Smith. In the next at-bat, Yarbrough grounded into a double play to end the scoring opportunity.
Ole Miss 11, St. John’s 15 (Top : RBI-singles by Ferguson and Smith, followed by a two-RBI double by Snyder brought the Rebels to within four runs in the top of the eighth.
Ole Miss 11, St. John’s 20 (Bottom : In what has seemed like an anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better game down the stretch, St. John’s tacked on five more runs in the bottom of the eighth to all but kill the Rebels’ chances at a late-inning comeback.
Ole Miss 12, St. John’s 20 (Top 9): With the game already out of hand, Ole Miss plated 5 more runs in the top of the ninth. After a bases-loaded walk to Hamblin and a strikeout by Matt Smith, Snyder hit a grand slam into the right field bleachers to round out the game’s scoring with a bang. Mike Snyder grounded out 5-3 in the next at-bat to end the Rebels’ season.
PITCHING WRAPUP: Goforth was hit with the loss for Ole Miss, surrendering seven runs on four hits and three walks in 0.2 innings pitched. SJU starter Bruce Kern earned the win, allowing seven runs in 6.0 innings.
QUOTE OF THE POSTGAME:
“I don’t think I was nervous at all, I just couldn’t throw the ball where I wanted.” — David Goforth on his struggles in the first.
NEXT UP: Ole Miss’s season is over with the loss to the Red Storm. The Rebels finished the year with a 39-24 record. As for SJU, they’ll now play Virginia at 6 p.m. EST in what’s another do-or-die game. Should SJU get the win, the two teams would play a decisive championship game on Monday for the right to advance to the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament. (June 6, 2010)