OXFORD, Miss. (Ole Miss Athletics) – The Rebels overcame an early deficit on Sunday, putting together a six-run eighth inning to complete a series sweep as No. 14 Ole Miss (21-4, 4-2 SEC) defeated Missouri (11-12, 1-5 SEC) by a score of 8-3 Sunday.
The Tigers took the early lead and answered the first Rebel rally, but Ole Miss put together the big eight-inning by batting around and pushing home six runs to grab the win.
Wyatt Short (3-0) picked up the win in relief, working the final 1.2 innings with one hit and three strikeouts. He entered the game with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the eighth and kept Missouri off the board with a strikeout and a ground ball out to keep the Rebels within one run of the Tigers.
Keaton Steele (0-3) took the loss as the Missouri reliever entered the game in the eighth and allowed six runs on six hits with a walk. Steele recorded two outs in the eighth before being replaced on the mound by Breckin Williams for the final out of the inning.
“There are certain times in the game when you think there are momentum shifts,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “With bases loaded and one out, he (Wyatt Short) comes in and gets a strikeout and ground ball, and we were able to keep the difference at one. It makes it so much harder, when the visiting has to get six outs. Then, of course, (Will) Jamison leads off with a big single. That was a huge inning for us.”
Missouri took the early lead with a single run in the first when Eric Anderson scored on a groundout to second from Kendall Keeton. Anderson doubled to open the game and moved to third on a sac bunt before coming home on the ground ball from Keeton that put the Tigers up 1-0.
Ole Miss answered with a single run in the fourth on a Will Allen single through the right side that scored Braxton Lee. Lee reached on a fielder’s choice before a groundout from Austin Anderson moved him into scoring position for the Allen hit.
The Tigers moved back in front in the fifth when Logan Pearson scored from first on a double to left from Steele and a fielding error on the play allowed him to advance home instead of holding up at third. A single unearned run in the top of the seventh on a sac fly from Ryan Howard then took the Tiger lead out to 3-1.
Ole Miss cut the lead to one with an answering run in the home half of the seventh on a sac fly to left from Holt Perdzock that scored Anderson and the Rebels sat poised for the comeback heading into the eighth.
Short held the Tigers in check and allowed the Rebels to escape the jam in the top of the eighth. Ole Miss then came to the plate in the bottom of the inning and went to work.
Will Jamison started the rally with a single before being lifted from the game in favor of pinch runner Cameron Dishon. An Errol Robinson sac bunt then moved him into scoring position and flipped the lineup back to the top of the order with Auston Bousfield coming to the plate.
Bousfield then drove a ball back up the middle that was snagged by a diving Shane Segovia at second base, but Bousfield beat the throw to first and reached safely. The Rebels tied the game on the play as Dishon went hard from second on contact, rounding third and racing home as Missouri appeared to lose track of the speedy Rebel trying to make the play at first on Bousfield.
The rally continued when Lee was hit by a pitch before Anderson put the Rebels in front with an RBI single to right that scored Bousfield. A fielding error on the play allowed Lee to go from first to third and Anderson to take second.
Missouri intentionally walked Allen in the next at bat to load the bases and bring Sikes Orvis to the plate.
The Rebels broke things open from there with an RBI single from Orvis and a two-RBI single from Dalton Dulin that took the lead out to 7-3. A fly out on the next batter put two outs on the board and Missouri turned to the bullpen again for right-hander Breckin Williams.
Dishon came to the plate in the next at bat and lay down a bunt that hit in the dirt down the first base line just shy of the grass and rolled back toward the plate before stopping fair as Orvis slid safely into home on the play to take the lead out to 8-3.
Missouri then got out of the inning with a ground out, but the Rebels held the five-run advantage.
Short returned to the mound in the ninth and kept the Tigers off the board as Ole Miss picked up the series sweep – the only team in the league to grab a series sweep on the weekend.
The Rebels return to action Tuesday night, traveling to face the Southern Miss Golden Eagles at Trustmark Park. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. in the annual neutral-site game between the two teams. Ole Miss will then continue to play on the road with an SEC series at Alabama over the weekend.