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Ole Miss eliminated from NCAA Tournament

Ole Miss baseball head coach Mike Bianco. Photo courtesy of Telesouth Communications Inc.

After losing two straight games to Tennessee Tech, the #4 national seed, Ole Miss, has been eliminated from the NCAA Tournament.

The Rebels lost the first game of the day 15-5 and followed that up with a 3-2 loss at the hands of the Golden Eagles, who will now advance to a Super Regional matchup with Texas. The Rebels had their opportunities to strike in this one, but couldn’t cash in and now their season ends in disappointing fashion.

The sequence that may have doomed the Rebels was a 6th inning where they could’ve broken the game wide open. Grae Kessinger opened the frame with a solo home run to break the scoreless tie as both offenses were quiet to start the game. Cole Zabowski then drove in another run to give Ole Miss a 2-0 lead. A walk loaded the bases for the Rebels, but TTU’s Travis Moths was able to strikeout both Tyler Keenan and Chase Cockrell to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 6th, starter Jordan Fowler was still on the mound for Ole Miss, and after getting the leadoff man out, he hit the next batter. Trevor Putzig stepped into the box for TTU and blasted a game-tying home run. Houston Roth came out of the bullpen to get the Rebels out of the inning, but the damage had been done.

The Rebels would go quietly in the 7th, and TTU would add a run to take a 3-2 lead that they would not relinquish. Roth walked the first batter of the inning and he moved to second on a passed ball. A bunt couldn’t be fielded cleanly by Keenan at third and runners were on the corners. Parker Caracci came and was able to get out of the inning allowing just the one run on a sac-fly, but the offense couldn’t get in gear to get the Rebels back in the game.

The Rebels would get a hit from Cockrell in the 9th, but that’s all. The game, and the Rebels’ season, ended with a pop-fly to the second baseman off the bat of Kessinger.

This was just the third time this season that the Rebels lost two straight games, but it couldn’t have come at a worse time.

An SEC title will be the Rebels fond memory of the 2018 season, but they’ll miss out on a chance at making it back to Omaha for the College World Series.

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