Rebels' late comeback bid falls short in 9-5 defeat


From Special Reports



OXFORD -- Ole Miss loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, and its three-hole hitter stepped to the plate with two outs and a chance to tie it up. Unfortunately, the comeback wasn't meant to be as the No. 13 Rebels fell 9-5 to Wright State, evening the series at one. 


The Raiders filled up the scoreboard early and jumped on the Rebels with eight runs in the first four frames. The Raiders never looked back, setting the stage for Sunday's rubber match at noon. 


The Rebels simply couldn't put together timely hits and were outhit at the plate 12 to eight by Wright State. Although Ole Miss managed to string together five late-inning runs, it simply wasn't enough to overcome the large deficit. 


The Raiders and Rebels will go for it all today with a rubber match scheduled for noon.  


· On Friday, Ole Miss opened the season with a 10-1 victory against Wright State at Swayze Field. 


Junior Will Ethridge started and went 5 2/3 innings and allowed only four hits and no runs. He walked two and struck out five. Austin Miller worked his longest career outing (3 1/3 innings) to earn the save. He struck out two. 


Catcher Cooper Johnson went 3-for-4 in his first start since being named full-time catcher after splitting time with Nick Fortes a season ago. 


Sophomore Tyler Keenan, the reigning Freshman All-American selection, hit a two-out, first inning solo homer to left center to start the Rebels. 


Left fielder Thomas Dillard also had three hits, and first baseman Cole Zabowski was 2-for-5. 


· Southern Mississippi , Purdue: At Hattiesburg, Stevie Powers and Cody Carroll combined on a three-hitter as Southern Miss came back against Purdue for a second consecutive day, taking a 4-2 Saturday evening at Pete Taylor Park. 


Brant Blaylock knocked in USM's first run in a three-run sixth inning by sneaking a ground ball past a drawn-in infield into left field, and Storme Cooper gave the Golden Eagles the lead for good, scooting a grounder through the right side for a 3-2 lead. 


Southern Miss won 7-6 Friday night in the 10th inning after erasing a 6-4 deficit going into the bottom of the eighth inning. 


Sunday's series finale saw first pitch moved to 10:30 a.m. because of inclement weather expected later in the day. 


· On Friday, Matt Guidry singled through the right side to drive in Brant Blaylock with the winning run to lift No. 21 Southern Miss to a 7-6, 10-inning season-opening victory against Purdue Friday at Pete Taylor Park. 


Despite a drizzling rain for much of the day, a crowd of 3,413 saw the Golden Eagles capture their fifth-straight, opening-day victory. It also was the first extra-inning opening game for Southern Miss since defeating Nicholls State 1-0 at home to start the 1998 campaign. 


With the score tied at 6-6 in the final frame, Blaylock led off the inning with an infield single. With two outs, Gabe Montenegro was hit by a pitch and that set up Guidry's winning hit. The junior from Hattiesburg worked the count to 2-0 before lacing a pitch through the infield. 


Hunter Slater was 2-for-3 with a solo home run in the sixth to help the Golden Eagles to an early 4-2 lead. 


Mason Strickland threw the final 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to get the victory. He allowed two hits and one walk. 


· Alabama , Presbyterian: At Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the Alabama baseball team suffered a 4-1 loss in game one of Saturday's doubleheader at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The two teams are now even at one game apiece on the weekend with game two set to decide the series. 


The winning pitcher was Jake Rice (1-0) while Crimson Tide reliever Deacon Medders (0-1) suffered the loss. Presbyterian relief pitcher Colton Springs got the save. 


· Alabama baseball rallied from a game-one loss to claim a 9-4 win in the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader against Presbyterian at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The victory clinched the series for the Crimson Tide on opening weekend. 


Alabama will remain at home for its next contest on Tuesday, Feb. 19, against Jacksonville State. The Tide is then set to take on Alabama State the following day for a Wednesday pairing. Both games are set for 3 p.m. first pitches on SEC Network+. 


· On Friday, Alabama used early offense and a solid effort on the mound to beat Presbyterian 7-2 at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. 


With the victory, the Crimson Tide move to 10-0 in the month of February under coach Brad Bohannon. 


Alabama scored seven runs in the first four innings. Senior Joe Breaux and junior Kolby Robinson scored a run and had three hits. Robinson added a team-high tying two RBIs to match Sam Praytor in that category. The sophomore catcher recorded his two RBI on a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning, the Crimson Tide's first roundtripper of the 2019 campaign. 


Senior Sam Finnerty allowed two runs in five innings to get the victory. He walked one and struck out three. Junior Wil Freeman and redshirt freshman Chase Lee combined to throw four shutout innings to seal the deal. 


· Prior to the game, Alabama baseball program, in connection with the Crimson Tide Foundation, dedicated the Hall of Fame at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in the name of Babe Ruth McAbee. 


Opened in 2017, the Hall will now be named the "Babe Ruth McAbee Hall of Fame" in honor of McAbee with a ceremony.



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