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Monday, May 25, 2015

BLOG: Gatlin’s walk-off lifts Ole Miss past Raiders

OMAHA, Neb.John Gatlin delivered a walk-off RBI single in the ninth inning, and Ole Miss staved off elimination at the College World Series with a 2-1 victory over Texas Tech Tuesday afternoon at TD Ameritrade Park.

Ole Miss (47-20) finished with just five hits, but the Rebels strung enough together in the final innings to highlight a dramatic finish and extend their season for at least one more game. Ole Miss will take on the loser of Tuesday night’s game between Virginia and TCU on Thursday at 7 p.m.

The Rebels broke a scoreless tie in the seventh when pinch hitter Holt Perdzock slapped an RBI single past a diving Ryan Long at third. Scott Weathersby came on for Trent in the ninth, but Adam Kirsch’s one-out single and a pair of stolen bases by pinch-runner Zach Davis put a runner at third for Anthony Lyons, whose sac fly knotted the game at 1.

Pinch-hitter Colby Bortles drew a one-out walk in the Rebels’ final at-bat and moved to third when Tech pitcher Cameron Smith fielded Brantley Bell’s chopper and threw over the outstretched glove of shortstop Tim Proudfoot going for the force at second.

Ole Miss called on Gatlin to face the left-handed Smith, but the Red Raiders (45-21) countered with righty Dominic Moreno, who got ahead 1-2 before Gatlin lofted a single over a five-man infield into shallow right to plate the winning run.

Weathersby (4-2) picked up the win, allowing a hit in his only inning of work. Smith was pegged with the loss after yielding an unearned run in 0.1 of an inning. He walked one and struck out one.

It was a case of deja vu for the Rebels’ offense, which mustered just one hit and four baserunners against Virginia in their tournament opener on Sunday. Left-hander Christian Trent and Tech starter Ryan Moseley quickly turned the first-ever meeting between the teams into a pitching exhibition.

Preston Overbey’s third-inning double and a single from Austin Anderson accounted for all of Ole Miss’ offense through the first five frames against Moseley, who limited the Rebels to four hits and fanned six over a career-high 7.1 innings in just his fifth start of the season.

But Trent matched the freshman pitch for pitch to keep the Rebels close. The sophomore lefty hurled eight scoreless frames in his second-longest outing of the season, scattering six hits and striking out six.

The Rebels produced their biggest threat in the sixth when Braxton Lee singled and Auston Bousfield walked for a pair of one-out baserunners, but Moseley got Anderson to ground into a 6-3-1 double play to end the inning.

Moseley quickly recorded the first out in the seventh and got Sikes Orvis to roll a grounder to second baseman Bryant Burleson, but the ball skipped off Burleson’s glove and into the outfield to give the Rebels a baserunner. Moseley walked J.B. Woodman, and Perdzock’s knock inside the third-base line plated Orvis for the game’s first run. (June 17, 2014)

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