Season's Over

RALEIGH, N.C. – Sunday was do or die for Ole Miss baseball in 2013. And for the second time in this NCAA Regional, William and Mary got the job done, this one by a final count of 4-1 to eliminate the Rebels.

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It basically came down to timely hitting, and the Tribe got it done more often than the Rebels.

"They got all the big hits, especially in the middle of the lineup," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco after his 13th UM team finished 38-24. "And they all counted. We don't get a hit with runners in scoring position. Had bases loaded, got one run by hitting into a double play. Just didn't have enough opportunities, and the few we did have weren't able to get the big hit. They did."

Sam Smith started and gave the Rebels a chance, just like he has most of the season. The sophomore righty went five innings allowing four runs on seven hits. But he got no help from the offense in the run department.

"They battled really hard all day, battled with two strikes," Smith said of the Tribe hitters. "They did a good job, put balls in play, and I just couldn't put them away. I didn't have my slider I usually do. They got the big hit and kept battling."

"I thought Sam gave a gutsy performance," Bianco said.

After a quick three up and three down first inning for Ole Miss, the Tribe got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the frame. A two-out double for Michael Katz was followed by a Ryan Lindemuth double to score Katz.

The tone for the Rebel offense was set in the second as the Rebels got three hits but had nothing to show for it.

Tanner Mathis
Bruce Newman

Ole Miss tied the game in the top of the fourth. Austin Anderson singled to left, followed by a Stuart Turner walk. Andrew Mistone reached on an error by the pitcher to load the bases. Preston Overbey got a run home but it was actually a 5-4-3 double play as Anderson scored. Will Jamison flew out to right, and it was another inning of missed opportunities for a team battling to extend its life.

However, the Tribe came right back to score two runs and take a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth and added another in the sixth.

The Rebels' offense simply could not get anything done when those opportunities arose. They were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position today, and only left four on base. But double plays on a couple of occasions wiped some of that out.

The top of the eighth inning, with time running out, was an example. Sikes Orvis came in to pinch hit for Christian Helsel and led off the inning with a single. Lance Wilson came in to pinch run. But then Mathis grounded out into a double play. And Auston Bousfield struck out looking.

"I thought it was a good win for our guys," said William and Mary head coach Jamie Pinzino after his team advanced to play unbeaten North Carolina State Sunday night. "From an offensive standpoint, I thought what we did well against them was to compete with two strikes. Today was the first day we had a hit with guys in scoring position."

As for Ole Miss, that was clearly the opposite and something that cost them, not only today, but several times this season.

Mathis said he looks back on a college career he's proud of.

"Four great years here," he said. "This is what I thought it would be coming to Ole Miss as a freshman. It was everything I wanted my college baseball experience to me. I want the young guys to soak it all in and get ready for next year when they're playing in a Regional and Super Regional in Oxford."

Bianco applauded his seniors – Mathis, Brett Huber, Tanner Bailey, and Mistone.

"It's always disappointing when it ends," he said. "We've got four great seniors, and one of them (Mathis) sitting next to me. It's disappointing we couldn't have done more to extend their careers here."

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