The Rebels (48-20) broke out offensively with 11 hits and got strong relief pitching to help them stave off elimination for the second straight game, handing TCU (48-18) just its sixth loss in its last 39 contests.
Ole Miss will play Virginia in another elimination game on Friday at 7 p.m. The Cavaliers sent Ole Miss to the losers’ bracket with a 2-1 win in both teams’ CWS opener on Sunday.
Designated hitter Will Allen led Ole Miss with three hits, including the go-ahead single in the seventh, and three RBIs. First baseman Sikes Orvis gave the Rebels some insurance with an RBI double in the ninth to highlight a 3-for-5, two-RBI night. Left fielder Braxton Lee also drove in a run.
Aaron Greenwood retired the Horned Frogs in order in the ninth to pick up his fifth save. The senior entered with two outs in the eighth and preserved the Rebels’ one-run lead by stranding runners at second and third. Wyatt Short and Josh Laxer preceded Greenwood with 5.2 innings of one-run ball.
Right-hander Sam Smith got the start for Ole Miss while freshman Tyler Alexander took the ball for TCU, but neither made it past the fourth inning.
The Rebels got to Alexander for their first three runs in the third. Lee plated J.B. Woodman, who doubled to begin the inning, with a single up the middle, and Allen made it 3-0 with a two-out, two-run double to the right-center gap.
Errol Robinson’s one-out double in the fourth gave Ole Miss its sixth hit, matching the Rebels’ total for the first two tournament games combined, and ended the night for Alexander, who allowed more than one run for just the fifth time in 16 starts.
But Ole Miss helped TCU tie it a half-inning later. Smith cruised through the first three frames but lost his command in the fourth, walking three in the inning. His final free pass to Keaton Jones plated TCU’s second run, and the junior was relieved by Laxer after scattering four hits and striking out three in 3.1 innings.
Laxer fanned Kyle Bacak before issuing another bases-loaded walk to Cody Jones to draw the Horned Frogs even.
The teams traded runs in the fifth on Orvis’ RBI single and Kevin Cron’s solo shot into the left-field seats, but Ole Miss took the lead for good in the seventh on Allen’s single back through the box scoring Auston Bousfield, who worked a leadoff walk.
See Friday’s edition of the EAGLE for complete coverage from Thursday’s game. (June 19, 2014)