Ole Miss was eliminated from the SEC Tournament after a 12-8 comeback win by Texas A&M in Hoover, Ala.

The Rebels will return to Oxford to await national seed and regional site announcements, after falling to the Aggies 12-8 in the SEC Tournament semi-finals.

Box Score

Game Story By: Jeff Roberson

HOOVER, Ala. – Ole Miss led Texas A&M for most of Saturday’s semifinal game in the SEC Tournament. But the Aggies scored five runs in the eighth inning and two more in the ninth to win 12-8.

So the Rebels will put this loss behind them in a hurry, although that’s tough to do. This team has gotten used to winning and picked up three big victories here this week - against Georgia, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt - to move into national seed conversation.

Hosting a NCAA Regional next week now seems certain. Most can’t imagine Ole Miss not having done enough.

It’s still to be determined, but by most accounts a long shot, if they would be a national top eight seed.

Two years ago this program got to the College World Series by winning a Regional in Oxford and by winning a road Super Regional in Lafayette, La.

The Regional host sites are announced Sunday. The tournament field, including the national seeds, are announced Monday.

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Against the Aggies, Chad Smith started and there were some struggles early and a first-inning error. The Aggies led 2-0 after the top of the first inning.

After Texas A&M increased its lead to 3-1, the Rebels scored five runs in the bottom of the third inning to claim a 6-3 lead.

Texas A&M got a run in the fourth, aided greatly by an umpire’s call that was reversed on a runner at first base. The first base umpire originally called him out. But then an argument was won by Aggie head coach Rob Childress, and the umpires gathered and reversed the call. Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco protested, but the umpires decided to keep the reversal anyway, which TV replay showed was incorrect. That runner eventually scored. At the end of the inning Texas A&M trailed 6-4.

Another blown call by the umpires, again according to TV replay, was when J.B. Woodman slid into second base later in the game. The second base umpire called him out. TV replay showed he stayed on the base. Had he been on base he would have later scored, if things had proceeded as they did.

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As the Rebels kept their lead, it was apparent those two situations – one that allowed for an Aggie run and one that prevented a Rebel run – might be difference makers as the game tightened up.

With Ole Miss leading 8-5 in the eighth inning and with one out, Rebel pitching ran out of gas, basically. After stellar performance by starter Smith and Dallas Woolfolk in relief, the Aggies got to Ole Miss in that frame, scoring five runs.  There was one out and Boomer White had doubled when Wyatt Short was called in to pitch in the eighth. But the Aggies led 10-8 after the inning.

It was the first game this season when Ole Miss led after six innings that it lost, an incredible stat. The Rebels were 37-0 prior to Saturday in that situation.

Amazingly Ole Miss had 17 hits in the game and Texas A&M had 12.

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Quotes from the postgame:

Mike Bianco: “An incredible college baseball game. I thought both teams played their hearts out today. Although we didn’t play the cleanest game, I was proud of our guys. I was proud of the way we played the whole week.”

Bianco on the eighth inning: “What happened to us in the eighth hasn’t happened all year. It was a tough one to swallow. Very proud of our guys. Smith gave us a great effort (as the starter). He made it hard on them and probably could have gone another inning. Super proud of Dallas, a true freshman to come into that kind of atmosphere and in that situation with so much on the line and to pitch like that.”

Bianco on if his team can get a national seed: “When you play at home you have a better shot. We’re not one of the ten people in Indianapolis. What would be a shame is if they don’t pick the 16 teams and the eight national seeds on the merit, whatever the metrics are. All the things they look at for everybody, they would look at our conference the same way. Our resume is really good. Look at everything. My hope is the people in Indianapolis pick the best 64, the best 16, the best eight, because that’s how it’s supposed to be done and that’s the fairest.”  

Dallas Woolfolk on his outing: “I just tried to go out there and give my defense the best opportunity and the team to make good plays and to fill up the strike zone.”

Errol Robinson on the tournament stay for Ole Miss: “I think it’s a momentum shift. Coming out hot with three wins was big for us. Also getting the win (last weekend) against Texas A&M was the beginning of this turnaround. It was great to see the bats getting hot. The pitchers are doing well. We need to use this momentum into the Regional.”

Robinson on if the Rebels should be a national seed: “I’m not in the room with the guys who decide all that. But I think we deserve one. I’m proud of the team.”

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