LAFAYETTE, La. — Ole Miss exorcised some postseason demons on Monday night, advancing to the College World Series with a 10-4 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette in Game 3 of the Lafayette Super Regional at “Tigue” Moore Field.
The game quickly turned into a battle between bullpens as neither starter made it past the fifth. No. 12 Ole Miss (46-19) plated four runs in the first five innings against southpaw Cody Boutte. The stay was even shorter for Ole Miss right-hander Sam Smith, who gave up three earned runs in 3.2 frames.
Ole Miss right-hander Scott Weathersby hurled two scoreless innings before handing things over to Josh Laxer, who finished it out with 3.1 innings of one-run ball. Caleb Adams’ groundout ended it, giving the top-ranked Ragin’ Cajuns (58-10) their second straight loss for the first time all season and sending Rebel players racing out of the dugout to celebrate the team’s first trip to Omaha since 1972.
Weathersby (3-1) notched the win. Boutte (9-1) gave up five hits and struck out two in his first loss of the season.
The Rebels, who won their first super regional in five tries under head coach Mike Bianco, grabbed the lead for good in the fifth when Braxton Lee raced home on a passed ball and used pitching and defense to preserve it.
Catcher Will Allen gunned down Seth Harrison trying to steal in a 5-3 game in the sixth. The Cajuns got closer in the seventh when Tyler Girouard scored on Harrison’s double down the left-field line, but Errol Robinson’s relay throw beat Adams to the plate to prevent the tying run from scoring.
It bought the Rebels enough time to wear down UL-Lafayette’s array of arms. Ole Miss scored six runs against seven different relievers and eventually blew the game open in the ninth when pinch-hitter Holt Perdzock delivered a bases-clearing double to give the Rebels a 9-4 lead.
The Cajuns struck first against Smith in the third. Ryan Leonards blooped a double over the infield and moved to third on a sac bunt. Trahan bounced one back to Smith, but he was safe at first after Smith failed to field the ball cleanly. Girouard lifted a sac fly to left to put UL-Lafayette in front.
The lead didn’t last long.
Austin Anderson followed Bousfield’s leadoff double in the fourth with a two-run homer. Sikes Orvis got in on the action two batters later with a towering solo shot to right to make it 3-1.
But UL-Lafayette chased Smith with two hits and two runs in the home half of the frame. Leonards’ RBI double tying the game at 3 ended the night for the right-hander, who scattered six hits and allowed two earned runs. Weathersby came on and induced a pop-up from Jace Conrad to keep the game tied.
Bousfield and Anderson each had two hits. Lee and J.B. Woodman drove in a run apiece. Leonards and Harrison each went 3-for-4 for UL-Lafayette. Leonards had a pair of doubles.
The Rebels will open the College World Series against No. 3 national seed Virginia on Sunday at 7 p.m. at TD Ameritrade Park.
Bianco as well as Laxer, Allen and Anderson talk about the super regional-clinching win and moving on to the College World Series in the videos below.
For complete coverage of Monday’s game, see Tuesday’s edition of the EAGLE. (June 9, 2014)