Lafayette, LA. – The Ole Miss Rebels needed a win Sunday night to keep their Omaha hopes alive. They did just that. The team is now one win away from erasing the 42 year drought of a College World appearance. Yes, we do not like to be reminded of this and will quickly change the conversation if you bring it up.
Again, the Rebels got on the board first, after Will Allen scored Austin Anderson from first on a double to right. This was the senior Johnny Bench Award finalist’s 61st RBI of the season giving the Rebels the 1-0 lead in the first inning.
The Cajuns would not answer until the fifth inning, after a RBI double drove a runner home from first to even the score 1-1. The throw on the play by Will Jamison was on time to make the out, but a collision at the plate forced Will Allen to lose the ball. Don’t worry, the runner did slide.
Preston Overbey came to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning, and on a 1-2 pitch, hit a solo home-run to left, giving the Rebels a 2-1 lead. It was Overbey’s fourth home-run of the season.
In the eighth inning, Ole Miss turned to senior right hander Aaron Greenwood to close out the game for the Rebels. After a lead off walk, the Cajuns capitalized on a sacrifice bunt, then a hit to right brought home the runner from second, tying the game 2-2.
It was the bottom of the eighth where the Rebels brought the magic. The exciting inning was opened with a lead-off single by Auston Bousfield. Austin Anderson then drew a full count walk to bring up Will Allen to the plate. Allen drove a deep fly to right-center. In what should have been an easy out, it was dropped by the outfielder. The error allowed Bousfield to score from second and the Rebels took a 3-2 lead.
That would be all the Rebels needed for the win, but they would get a little more insurance. Sikes Orvis came to the plate after Allen and delivered a right field single that loaded the bases for freshman pinch-hitter Colby Bortles.
Bortles drove a grounder up the middle into center field that brought home both Anderson and Allen, giving the Rebels a cushioning 5-2 lead. It was Bortles’ 12th RBI in the past ten games. Can we say a bright future to come?
The Cajuns did attempt to rally in the ninth inning, but a runner was left stranded at third as Greenwood closed out the game with a strikeout.
On the mound, Ole Miss saw another quality start from lefthander Christian Trent. Trent worked 7.0 innings allowing one unearned run on four hits. He notably threw seven strikeouts and allowed only two walks. But, it was Aaron Greenwood who picked up the win in relief. Greenwood pitched for the remaining two innings, allowing one run on two hits, with two strikeouts and a walk.
The two teams will match-up again Monday night for a decisive game three. The winner will reach the promise land, the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. CST and will (once again) be televised on ESPN 2. Righthander Sam Smith (5-4, 3.39 ERA, 87.2 IP, 47 K) is expected to start for the Rebels. Cody Boutte (9-0, 3.00 ERA, 81.2 IP, 54 K) is the probable pitcher for the Cajuns.