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Ninth-inning heroics lift No. 16 Rebels past No. 1 Florida

BLOG: The series comes down to today.

After blanking the No. 1 Florida Gators 3-0 on Friday, the nation’s top team used a six-run eighth Saturday to claim a 9-4 victory over No. 16 Ole Miss at Oxford-University Stadium.

Today’s first pitch is set for 12:30 p.m.

BEEN HERE BEFORE: The Gators aren’t in unfamiliar territory. Last week, South Carolina took the Thursday night game 9-3. Florida rallied and defeated South Carolina 8-2 on Friday and 5-4 on Saturday to take the series.

TAKING THE MOUND: Ole Miss will send right-handed sophomore Mike Mayers (2-2, 3.47 ERA) to the mound. In 36.1 innings, Mayers has stuck out 28 against eight walks and 26 hits. Opponents are also hitting .205 off of the Ohioan.

Last week, Mayers allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits while also striking out five in 6.2 innings of work but took a no decision.

Today won’t be the first time Mayers has faced the Gators. Last year, Mayers allowed two runs on four hits in 3.1 innings out of the bullpen. He also struck out three in the 8-1 loss.

Taking the bump for Florida will be right-handed sophomore Jonathon Crawford (2-1, 3.95).

Today will mark the first time the Rebels have faced Crawford. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound hurler is coming off of a no decision last Sunday against South Carolina.

In five innings, Crawford allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits and one walk. He also struck out two.

Overall this season, Crawford has struck out 27 against nine walks and 28 hits in 27.1 innings. Opponents are hitting .277 off of him.


No. 1 FLORIDA GATORS (24-3 overall, 6-2 SEC)
CF Daniel Pigott (.313BA/.374 OBP/.455SLG)
2B Casey Turgeon (.293/.398/.488)
C Mike Zunino (.370/.438/.750)
RF Preston Tucker (.320/.400/.650)
1B Taylor Gushue (.244/.379/.524)
SS Nolan Fontana (.270/.387/.450)
DH Justin Shafer (.282/.319/.359)
LF Vickash Ramjit (.357/.424/.714)
3B Cody Dent (.156./341/.156)
RHP Jonathon Crawford (2-1, 3.95ERA)

No. 16 OLE MISS REBELS (19-8, 4-4)
LF Tanner Mathis (.330/.468/.370)
SS Austin Anderson (.269/.397/.404)
2B Alex Yarbrough (.408/.465/.583)
1B Matt Snyder (.356/.416/.614)
C Will Allen (.329/.366/.447)
3B Preston Overbey (.328/.411/.484)
DH Zach Kirksey (.324/.424/.794)
CF Auston Bousfield (.250/.342/.292)
RF Will Jamison (.294/.359/.382)
RHP Mike Mayers (2-2, 3.47)


OLE MISS 2, Florida 0 (B1): For the second time in three days the Rebels struck first. After Tanner Mathis grounded out to lead off the bottom of the first, Austin Anderson reached via single and scored from first on a double by Alex Yarbrough. Yarbrough advanced to third on the throw home from right field and then scored scored on a single by Matt Snyder.

OLE MISS 5, Florida 0 (B2): Zach Kirksey re-took the Southeastern Conference’s home run lead by clobbering an offering from Florida starter Jonathon Crawford. Florida’s outfielders took two steps, then turned and watched Kirksey’s 10th homer of the season clear the wall just right of center. After registering two outs but allowing Mathis to reach on an infield single, Crawford fell behind 2-0 on Anderson and was pulled for left-hander Steven Rodriguez. Yarbrough then scored Anderson and Mathis on a double to left-center.

Ole Miss 5, FLORIDA (T4): Florida broke through in a big way in the fourth inning. Daniel Pigott led off the frame with a solo home run over the left field wall. After Ole Miss starter Mike Mayers recorded two quick outs, Florida strung together a single, walk and three consecutive RBI-singles to make it 5-4 and chase the right-hander from the game. Ole Miss right-handed reliever Aaron Greenwood got Florida’s Cody Dent to strikeout looking to end the frame.

Ole Miss 5, FLORIDA 5 (T6): Nolan Fontana knotted the game up 5-5 by hitting a leadoff homer off of Greenwood over the right field wall.

FLORIDA 6, Ole Miss 5 (T7): Preston Tucker put Florida ahead for the first time by hitting a one-out solo homer to right-center off of left-handed reliever Dylan Chavez.

OLE MISS 6, Florida 6 (B7): Yarbrough led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and advanced to third on a poor pickoff throw from Florida reliever Bobby Poyner. Snyder then scored the Rebel second baseman with a double to left field.

OLE MISS 7, Florida 6 (B9): The ninth inning came down to one of the more unique finales in recent memory for the Rebels. After Florida closer Austin Maddox got Snyder to strike out to leadoff the frame, Will Allen hit a bloop single to right field. Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco immediately sent Friday night ace Bobby Wahl looking for his cleats and a batting helmet to pinch run for Allen. Preston Overbey then came through with a single up and Wahl took off for third, barely sliding in ahead of a throw from a Florida outfielder. Florida opted to walk Zach Kirksey to load the bases with one out and bring freshman left fielder Senquez Golson to bat. With two strikes against him, and one Florida outfielder joining the infield defense, Golson barely made contact on a pitch from Maddox and sent it down the first base line. Wahl came charging in from third base upon contact and slid across home plate ahead of a toss from Florida right fielder Preston Tucker, who was lined up around first base, to give the Rebels the 7-6 victory.

BY THE NUMBERS: Brett Huber ended up earning the win for Ole Miss, pitching two scoreless innings in relief. He was the fifth pitcher the Rebels used today… Maddox was saddled with his first loss of the season, allowing the one unearned run on two hits and three walks in 2.1 innings… Yarbrough had a game-high four hits and three RBIs for the Rebels.

Ole Miss will return to action Tuesday, traveling to Pearl to play Southern Miss. No starting pitcher has been announced.

Post-game video of Huber, Golson and Wahl will be posted later this evening.

For a complete roundup of events from the weekend pick up a copy of Monday’s print edition of the Oxford EAGLE.


Courtesy of Ole Miss and RebelVision, HERE‘s the game’s highlights.

Here is Golson talking about his hit:

And here is Wahl discussing his ninth-inning heroics:

 (April 1, 2012)

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    One Response to “Ninth-inning heroics lift No. 16 Rebels past No. 1 Florida”

    1. Bryan says:

      One of the most exciting finishes in recent memory and a nice job of recapping that for those that were not fortunate enough to be a part of it.
      Quality stuff, sir.

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