Ole Miss Rallies Past Gators

Eighth-ranked Ole Miss (15-6/3-1 SEC) plated three runs in the bottom of the ninth to hand Florida (15-4/3-1 SEC) a 5-4 setback on Friday night in the opener of the teams' weekend series at Oxford-University Stadium at Swayze Field.

With the bases full and none out, junior Michael Guerrero scored the winning run when sophomore catcher Buddy Munroe dropped a relay throw home from senior third baseman Jon Townsend. The Rebels came all the way back from a 4-0 deficit in the second inning to halt the Gators' winning streak at seven games.

With Ole Miss trailing 4-2 entering the final stanza, junior Logan Power led off with a double into right center and redshirt freshman Matt Smith followed with an RBI single into center field to close the gap to 4-3 and prompt a pitching change. Sophomore right-hander Billy Bullock, who had pitched into the ninth inning for the first time in his career, was taken out after scattering five hits, totaling three strikeouts and issuing two walks.

Sophomore righty Clint Franklin (2-1) was greeted by a double from Guerrero and walked sophomore Zach Miller intentionally to load the bases with none out. Freshman Tim Ferguson dropped a game-tying single into shallow left and set the stage for the final play. Franklin induced a grounder from junior Brett Basham to Townsend that should have resulted in the first out of the inning at home plate. However, Munroe misplayed the throw and the Rebs took advantage to seize the win.

Sophomore Rory McKean (2-0) retired all three Gators he faced in the ninth to earn the victory after junior Lance Lynn worked eight innings. The 6'5" right-hander allowed six hits and four runs (two earned), with seven strikeouts and two walks.

The Gators had jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the second inning with three hits and an error against Lynn. Sophomore Jonathan Pigott opened with a single into left center and took second when shortstop Ferguson mishandled Townsend's grounder trying to force the runner at second. Munroe put the visitors on the board with a one-out RBI single into left field and junior Avery Barnes drew a walk to load the bases. Sophomore Matt den Dekker roped a two-run single to drive in Townsend and Munroe and a grounder by sophomore Cole Figueroa enabled Barnes to come across with the fourth run.

Sophomore Jordan Henry put the Rebels on the board in the third inning with a base-knock to left field off Bullock. Ferguson walked with one down and Basham was hit by a pitch before Henry collected UM's first hit of the night. Bullock prevented further trouble by having senior Fuller Smith pop up to Munroe and fanned junior Cody Overbeck.

Matt Smith brought Ole Miss to within 4-2 by leading off the home part of the seventh with his fifth homer. He connected on Bullock's initial offering and sent it into the visitor's bullpen just beyond the right-field fence.

The Rebels held a 7-6 advantage in hits, as Matt Smith was 2-for-4, with two runs and a pair of RBI. For Florida, den Dekker (1-for-4) and Barnes (1-for-3) extended their hitting streaks to 13 and 11 games, respectively. Junior righty Patrick Keating (2-0, 2.41) will take the hill for UF in game two of the series Saturday at 2:30 p.m. against junior right-hander Cody Satterwhite (2-0, 4.50). The contest will be carried live on FSN Florida.

Courtesy UF Sports Information

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