May 24, 2013 9:58:07 AM
HOOVER, Ala. -- Mikey White's two-run single in the 10th inning Thursday helped push the University of Alabama baseball team past the University of Mississippi 7-5 in an elimination game at the Southeastern Conference tournament at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
The victory pushes Alabama (34-25) into a matchup against No. 2 LSU, which lost the No. 15 University of Arkansas 4-1 on Thursday, at 3 p.m. today (CSS).
Today's game will be the fifth meeting against LSU this season. The Tigers, who won two of three in the regular-season series, have won four of the games.
Alabama will throw freshman right-hander Mike Oczypok (4-1, 3.72 ERA). He will take on junior right-hander Ryan Eades (8-1, 2.70). Oczypok took the loss in the 16-inning game against LSU. He threw 2 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on three hits. He walked three and struck out two. Eades will make his second start of the season against Alabama. He threw four innings allowed five runs on eight hits with three strikeouts in the same game.
Alabama set up the matchup with a victory in its school-record ninth extra-inning game of the season.
"This group is very resilient in games like that," Alabama coach Mitch Gaspard said. "Our team fell behind and our guys did a good job offensively of finding swings and getting the bats going. There's still some work to do, we gave up too many walks and allowed them to get back in and tie the game. But out guys fought back and found a way to win in the end."
With one out in the 10th, Kyle Overstreet walked and advanced to third on a double by Ben Moore off Tanner Bailey (4-2). After the Rebels made a pitching change, White delivered a game-winning two-run single up the middle on a 1-2 pitch off Brett Huber. White was 2-for-5 with three RBIs and a run scored.
Alabama led 5-3 after six innings, but the Rebels (37-22) got a two-out, two-run single by Stuart Turner to tie the game at 5. Tucker Hawley (5-2) came on to throw three innings of scoreless relief to close out the game.
With the extra-inning game, Alabama eclipsed the previous school record of eight played by the 1986 team. That year, the Tide posted a 6-2 record in extra-inning games. This season, Alabama is 3-6 in extra-inning games, which have all come against top-25 opponents.
Georgie Salem was 2-for-5 with a run scored for Alabama. Moore was 1-for-4 with a double, a RBI, and a run scored and Overstreet was 1-for-4 with a RBI.
Crimson Tide starter Spencer Turnbull threw 6 2/3 innings. He allowed five runs (four earned) on four hits. He walked six and struck out four. Reliever Mitch Greer threw a third of an inning, allowing a hit and a walk. Greer gave up the game-tying RBI single to Turner, after Turnbull walked the bases loaded with two outs in the seventh.
Mississippi starter Jacob Waguespack retired the first nine batters, but he couldn't get out of the fourth. Alabama touched up the freshman right-hander for two runs on two hits with a pair of walks in the top of the fourth. Roberts and Salem walked and singled to open the inning. Roberts moved up to third on a fly ball by Overstreet and scored on a sacrifice fly by Moore. White then singled deep in the right center field gap, allowing Salem to score all the way from first.
Alabama tied the game in the fifth when the third single of the inning, which came from Overstreet, drove in Vincent to tie it at 3. The Crimson Tide scored twice in the sixth. After White reached on a throwing error to start the inning, Smith tripled to drive him in. A groundout by Booth allowed Smith to score to make it 5-3.
Ole Miss will now await NCAA tournament selection announcements at 11 a.m. Monday (ESPNU).
"I thought we did some things well today, but we just had a couple of times where we could have made one more pitch or one more hit and the outcome would have been different," Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. "That's life in the Southeastern Conference. Now we have to look forward to the NCAA tournament and the start of a new season as we move on in the postseason."
1. Green family has reunion at MSU softball tournament LOCAL COLUMNS
2. Cannizaro wants Bulldogs to be better at plate COLLEGE SPORTS
4. MSU men shooting for bigger production COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Lady Eagles playing for Franks HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS