April 13, 2013 11:04:53 PM
OXFORD -- Will Allen's two-out, two-run single in the eighth inning Saturday helped the No. 23 University of Mississippi baseball team beat the University of Alabama 5-2 and clinch its best-of-three Southeastern Conference weekend series in front of a Swayze Field-record crowd of 11,729.
With the victory, Ole Miss improves to 25-10 and 6-8 in the SEC, while Alabama slips to 22-15 and 8-6.
Tanner Bailey (2-1) picked up the win in relief, working 1.2 innings while allowing a hit, a walk, and notching a strikeout. Bailey entered the game in relief of starter Mike Mayers with two men on and one out in a 2-1 game in the seventh.
Mayers was solid in the start, allowing two runs -- one earned -- with four strikeouts and no walks in 6 1/3 innings. One of his two runs came after leaving the game in the seventh.
Brett Huber entered in the ninth and earned his eighth save.
Jon Keller (3-5) took the loss in relief after allowing three runs on two hits with four walks and a strikeout in 2 1/3 innings. All three of the runs scored off Keller were unearned.
"This was one of those grind it out types of games," Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. "Both teams played very well. They (Alabama) pitched well, and we pitched well. They played good defense and so did we. Neither team did much offensively. Today we played a little bit better than them in all phases. Not much, but just enough. We only had three or four hits, but they were all really big hits. I'm proud of the way (Mike) Mayers pitched today. It was for sure the best I've seen him all year and the best in a long time."
Ole Miss and Alabama will conclude the weekend series at 1:30 p.m. today.
n On Friday, Bobby Wahl and Aaron Greenwood combined to hold Alabama to two hits in Ole Miss' 6-0 victory.
"I'm proud of the way that we played tonight," Bianco said. "After all that has been happening over the past few weeks, the guys played really hard tonight. We had a lot of energy, especially early on. It was kind of the goal that we talked about with Coach (Cliff) Godwin, that we would be super aggressive and try to make things happen.
"We had a lot of hit and runs and put a lot of guys in motion. It was something that we haven't had in a while, the two-out RBI. We had the big double by Mathis and a big double by Turner. We had a good first few innings to get us going. You can't ask for much more out of Bobby and Aaron. They put up zeros the whole night. Bobby was probably as good as I've ever seen him in the first few innings."
Ole Miss scored six runs on seven hits, including a two-run home run by Allen in the eighth to extend the lead.
The Rebels got on the board in the first with an RBI double from Turner that brought home Auston Bousfield, who reached when he was hit by a pitch. The two-out hit from Turner started the scoring as Ole Miss would push runs home in each of the first three innings.
The lead grew with an RBI double from Mathis in the second before the Rebels would capitalize with smart base-running in the third inning to bring two runs home.
Turner scored the first of two runs in the third when he came home on a single through the right side from Orvis. The hit, which came with men at the corners, sent Andrew Mistone from first to third to set up the second scoring play of the inning.
Orvis got caught in a rundown between first and second on what was one of several hit-and-run plays in the third inning, allowing Mistone to come home from third and give Ole Miss the 4-0 lead.
Alabama pitchers held the Rebels in check until the eighth when Allen delivered his two-run shot over the bullpen in left field to take the lead out to 6-0. Allen's home run with two outs gave the Rebels four two-out RBIs.
Overstreet had a double in the fourth off Wahl. Mikey White had a single in the ninth off Greenwood.
Alabama left nine runners on base, including two in scoring position in the fourth, and left the bases loaded in the sixth. The Tide drew five walks and had one hit batter, and had a batter reach on an error.
"We didn't play very well in all phases of the game," Alabama coach Mitch Gaspard said. "Charley Sullivan had his worst outing of the year and he just couldn't find a secondary pitch. Offensively, Wahl is good and he's a proven guy in this league, but we had opportunities tonight. When we had those opportunities we didn't have good at-bats. I was disappointed in our energy tonight. I thought we would have been feistier and got after it a lot more than we did."
Wahl (7-0) limited the Crimson Tide to one hit and walked five. He struck out three in six innings. Greenwood allowed one hit in three innings with three strikeouts for his second save.
Sullivan (3-3) went three innings, his shortest outing as a starter for the Crimson Tide. He allowed four runs on five hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Taylor Guilbeau took over for Sullivan in the fourth, and threw 4 2/3 innings, allowing one run with two walks and three strikeouts.