Even More Drama

For the fourth time in five days the Ole Miss baseball team made things dramatic with a win on a walk-off.

Saturday afternoon's hero of the 5-4 victory? Senior catcher Will Allen.

After going to extra innings for the second straight game against Central Florida (6-4), Allen belted a solo home run to straightaway center field in the bottom of the tenth to capture the win and clinch the series for the Rebels (10-1).

"I knew I hit it good," Allen said of the home run. "I knew I was on time for it. I've seen a lot of well hit balls that go to dead center and don't go out. It carried well. I honestly didn't know until I saw the beer showers and everybody started cheering."

Allen said he was watching the ball the whole time as it left the park.

"I knew it would either be caught for an out or go out," Allen said. "So I was watching it the whole time."

UCF was able to get on the board first in the top of the first inning with a RBI single from junior Erick Barber, but until the fifth inning both offenses were stagnant.

The Knights would push the lead to 3-0 in the top half of the fifth on a two-run home run from junior Tommy Williams, but the Rebel offense finally came to life in the bottom of the inning.

Senior Austin Anderson got the scoring started for Ole Miss on a RBI single followed by a two-run double from Allen, who finished the day with three RBI, to tie the game 3-3. Then, senior Preston Overbey was able to drive in the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly and push the Ole Miss lead to 4-3.

Central Florida would answer with a run of their own in the eighth on a RBI groundout from junior James Vasquez, but that would cap the scoring for the Knights.

After throwing seven pitchers in last night's win, Ole Miss needed a solid outing from redshirt sophomore starter Christian Trent, and they got one. Trent worked 7.1 innings and struck out a career high seven batters, while giving up four runs on six hits.


Will Allen with the walkoff
Bruce Newman

"He did what he's been doing this whole season," Allen said of Trent. "He put us in a good position to win the ballgame with a good three-pitch mix all over the strike zone and keeping them off balance."

The Rebels got 2/3 of an inning of relief from redshirt sophomore Preston Tarkington and two innings from freshman Wyatt Short to close out the game on the mound.

"Times like this is where guys start to find themselves," Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said. "Guys like Wyatt Short, who is out there two games in a row in this type of situation and guys like Preston Tarkington."

At the plate the Rebels had three guys record at least two hits and as a team were able to find the bats once again and put up ten total hits. Junior Auston Bousfield went 3-5 and scored a run, Allen finished 2-4 and also scored two runs, and Overbey went 2-3 with a run batted in.

With the four walk-offs in a row, Bianco believes the team is building momentum early on this season, but also recognizes the fact that they know it is a different game each day.

"Yeah," Bianco said of the momentum carrying over day to day. "But we know the game is different. We don't know what tomorrow holds. The good news is we've been on the right end of them. I've never seen this many in a row, not even close to this. But I'm proud of them. I'm proud of the toughness we showed and the confidence we showed. It seems like in these last four games, when it's gotten down to it, we've played our best baseball."

The Rebels will go for the sweep of UCF Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 12 p.m. Junior right-hander Sam Smith will take the mound for Ole Miss.


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