A day after watching Georgia come up with a big hit in a critical situation, the Rebels pulled off a little magic of their own as No. 11 Ole Miss (31-12, 12-8 SEC) rallied in the eighth to defeat No. 1 Georgia (33-10, 14-6 SEC) by a score of 10-8 on Saturday.
With 9,478 fans on their feet in the eighth inning and the game tied at eight, Logan Power came up with a two-RBI double to right field to score Evan Button and Zach Miller and push the Rebels to a 10-8 lead. The attendance was the second largest ever at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
The Rebels scored three runs in the inning, sparked by a Kevin Mort single to open the frame. With a runner on, Georgia went to the bullpen to for Justin Earls. A wild pitch moved Mort to second before Evan Button came up with an RBI single to tie the game at eight.
Jordan Henry then flew out for the second out of the inning before Button then moved to second on a wild pitch and took third on a passed ball. A walk of Zach Miller put two men on before Power came up with the big hit that drove in both runs and gave the Rebels the lead.
Jake Morgan then entered the game and closed out the ninth, retiring all three batters in order to pick up his sixth save of the season and clinch the win. Brett Bukvich (6-1) picked up the win in relief as he worked 0.1 innings and struck out the final out of the eighth inning before the Rebels would rally in the bottom half of the inning.
Earls (0-1) suffered the loss for the Bulldogs as he gave up two runs on two hits with a walk and a strikeout after entering the game with the Rebels trailing by one and a runner at first.
“There were lots of heroes today,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “Phillip Irwin had a tough game without his best stuff, but he gutted it out and gave us a lot of innings. Offensively we were able to get some big hits with runners in scoring position, which we weren’t able to do Friday night. We got the crowd into it. It was very loud on the field. We got some runners on , did some things offensively and got them into the game.”
Georgia scored two runs in the first inning for the second straight day as Bryce Massanari hit a two-run shot that scored Matt Cerione and gave Georgia the 2-0 lead. Cerione reached on a walk to open the game.
Ole Miss answered in the bottom of the first as Miller drew a walk then scored from first on a double to right field from Matt Smith.
The Bulldogs answered in the third as back-to-back singles put runners on and a fielding error at second pushed one run across and left runners at the corners. A sac fly from Poythress scored Cerione for the second run of the inning before back-to-back doubles from Massanari and Johnathan Taylor notched a third run and gave Georgia a 5-1 lead.
Ole Miss again answered, pushing two runs across the plate in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 5-3. Tim Ferguson opened the inning with a home run before a Henry walk and a Miller double scored the second run of the inning and cut the lead to two.
The Rebels then claimed the lead in the fourth with a three run inning that saw Ole Miss jump out to a 6-5 lead.
Georgia again had an answer, as Massanari came up with his second home run of the day to knot the game at six in the fifth inning.
The Bulldogs moved out to an 8-6 lead in the seventh when Poythress reached on a single, only to see Massanari come up with his third home run of the day to plate two more runs for the Bulldogs.
The Rebels then pushed a run across in the seventh to cut the lead to one when Smith came up with a two-out double and scored a batter later on a single to left field from Kyle Henson. The run pulled the score to 8-7 in favor of the visiting team.
That’s when Ole Miss dug down and came up with its rally, using three hits to push three runs across the plate and take the lead for good.
Ole Miss and Georgia will face-off again at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday in the rubber-match as each team fights to claim the weekend series.