Bama Can't De-Rail Ole Miss

Being in the loser's bracket finally caught up with Alabama (41-19), as the Tide ran out of arms and never found any bats in a 9-2 loss to Ole Miss (39-20), who advanced to the Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship game without a tourney loss.

"We got pretty handily beaten today by a good Mississippi team," Alabama Coach Jim Wells said. "But I'm proud of the way our guys fought back in this tournament and won two games."

The general consensus at the Hoover Met is that Alabama wrapped up a national seed in the NCAA tournament next week with the two wins in the SEC tournament.

"Everything that has been told to is that we need to win two here," Wells said. "That's what we've heard from many people who are supposed to know what they're talking about. I'm never surprised by anything."

Regional host sites and the national seeds are announced Sunday at 2:30 on ESPNews, and the 64-team tournament field will be announced at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN regular.

Jordan Davis drew the starting assignment in the game in favor of little used Patrick Kelly and Miers Quigley, and was okay in the first inning, retiring the side in order with the help of the leadoff batter being caught stealing after singling to start the game.

In the second inning, however, the floodgates opened and Ole Miss runs poured in when Mississippi center field Alex Pressley homered to right field to lead off the inning.

Two more men reached safely and were sacrificed into scoring position for Mark Wright, who hit a two-run single to give Ole Miss a three-run lead. Justin Henry grounded out to score Wright and the Rebels were off and running at 4-0.

Davis gave up seven hits and five earned runs in his two and a third innings. He struck out two batters, both in the first inning, and walked one batter.

Ole Miss scored a run each in the third, fourth and fifth – one of those charged to Davis and the other two to Kelly, who entered the game in relief after two and a third innings, seven hits and five runs allowed by Davis (1-3).

Miers Quigley was a bright spot on an otherwise dark day, retiring eight men in a row at one point after taking over for Kelly. Quigley worked three full innings, allowing just two hits and one earned run. He struck out four Ole Miss hitters.

Ole Miss got a run in the seventh after a double and two errors, and Wright homered off of Kenneth Brown with a solo bomb to left center field in the ninth inning.

Lance Lynn (5-3) got the win for Ole Miss allowing two runs in six innings.

"Lance was tremendous and we needed that kind of effort against a tough Alabama team," Ole Miss Coach Mike Bianco said.

Alabama's hitting, or the absence thereof, continued Saturday with just three Tide players getting Alabama's first five hits. Brandon Belcher picked up a meaningless infield single in the ninth inning for Bama's sixth hit of the game and was stranded at first as the game ended.

"We're going to need a little more offense than we showed in this tournament for next week," Wells said. "You could run through a list of possible things (on what's wrong with Bama's hitting) but you come down to the fundamentals of staying through pitches. If you look at our charts there are a lot of pulled ground balls and flairs tot he opposite field."

Alabama's Matt Downs and Emeel Salem were 2 for 5 on the day, and Kody Valverde doubled in the fifth inning for the Tide's fifth hit. Downs snapped a post-season hitless streak with his first inning single. Valverde stranded two men in the third with a first-pitch fly out to right field. Evan Bush was 0 for 2.

Greg Paiml struck out in the third for a team-leading 54th time this season, equaling his season hit total in an 0 for 2 day before being replaced by Jeff Texada. Ryan Rhoden pinch-hit for designated hitter Alex Avila and was 0 for 1 after Avila's 0 for 2 day.

Alabama entered Saturday's games batting .200 (19-for-95) in the post-season, and lowered the average to .197 with a 6 for 32 mark on Saturday.

"I think being at home will definitely help us relax," Salem said. "It will be good to get in our own beds and get in a routine."

Back-to-back one-out doubles by Salem and Downs in the fifth inning scored Alabama's first run, and Valverde drove Downs in with a two-out single draw Bama to within four runs at 6-2.

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