TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (Ole Miss Athletics) – Sam Smith turned in his fifth quality start of the season, giving the Rebels a chance to win, but No. 9 Ole Miss (21-8, 4-5 SEC) couldn’t muster a rally in a 3-1 loss to Alabama (19-8, 6-3 SEC) on Sunday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Smith (3-2) took the loss for the Rebels, allowing three runs on eight hits with three strikeouts through 6.2 innings of work.
Jon Keller (5-1) picked up the win for Alabama, working a complete game and allowing only the one run on seven hits with three walks and eight strikeouts for Alabama.
“It’s been a bad week where we’ve lost all kinds of ways,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We did not hit well today or gives ourselves a shot offensively. Sam (Smith) was terrific all day with the exception of the one inning, but then he buckled down and still gave us a shot to win. That’s what he does for us each Sunday.”
Ole Miss got on the board first, pushing a run home in the second inning. Colby Bortles opened the inning with a four-pitch walk before going first to third on a single to right from Sikes Orvis. Errol Robinson then hit a ground ball to short, resulting in a double play but bringing Bortles home for the run. Alabama then got a strikeout to get out of the inning, but the Rebels were on the board with a 1-0 lead.
The Crimson Tide tied things up in the fourth, getting a solo shot from Mikey White to open the inning.
Alabama then moved ahead as the hit parade continued, using a single, double and a single in order to push a second run home and take a 2-1 lead with no outs on the board. A third run came home on a fielder’s choice to short before Smith would get a pop out and a strikeout to end the inning, but the Tide were up by two runs with a 3-1 lead on the Rebels.
Smith settled in from there, keeping Alabama off the board before giving way to the bullpen in the seventh. Left-hander Jeremy Massie and right-hander Aaron Greenwood continued to hold the Crimson Tide down, but the Rebels’ offense couldn’t muster a rally as Alabama picked up the win behind the complete-game effort from Keller.
Ole Miss returns to action on Wednesday, hosting Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 11 a.m. in the program’s annual Kid’s Day Game at Swayze Field before hosting the Auburn Tigers in a weekend series as a part of the Regions Bank Grove Bowl Weekend.