No. 22 (Collegiate Baseball) Alabama hit three home runs, including a grand slam by DH Allen Rice in the third inning, as the Crimson Tide defeated No. 9 (Baseball America) Ole Miss 12-6 in the rubber-match of this weekend's three-game Southeastern Conference Sunday afternoon, in front of 3,875 at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
Rice's grand slam broke a 2-2 tie in the third inning and he finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with five RBI. The grand slam was Rice's first career and it was his second home run of the year.
Greg Paiml hit his first home run of the season in the seventh with a two-run shot to make it 9-3, and Kody Valverde recorded his third homer of the year with a three-run blast in the eighth to make it 12-3.
Nine different Alabama (24-10, 8-4 SEC) players recorded at least one hit as the Crimson Tide out-hit the Rebels (22-10, 6-6 SEC) 16-8 on the afternoon.
Sophomore left-hander Brandon Belcher (4-0) went the distance to record his first career complete game. He allowed six runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out four.
Junior right-hander Anthony Cupps (5-3) allowed six runs on six hits and three walks in three innings in suffering the loss.
Right fielder Brian Pettway went 3-for-4 with two RBI to lead Ole Miss at the plate, and DH Jon-Jon Hancock went 2-for-3 with a career-high four RBI. Hancock also hit his third home run of the year, a two-run home run in the eighth to make it 12-6.
Ole Miss will return to action Wednesday evening with a 6:30 p.m., game at Southeastern Louisiana. The Rebels will then travel to Baton Rouge, La., to open a three-game conference series at LSU.
*** UM athletics media relations
Quotes from Sunday's series finale:
Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco: "We haven't pitched well the last four or five games. We've fallen into a little bit of a funk. We had pitched very well until then. We just haven't been able to get it done on the mound lately. To Alabama's credit, Coach (Jim) Wells said it was the best they had swung the bats this season."
Bianco on keeping the faith after losing five of the last six games: "We just have to keep fighting and keep competing and keep believing in ourselves. I thought we fought hard today, but (Alabama) just really took command. At some point we needed to step up and stop them but didn't."
Brian Pettway: "We just have to come out ready to play every day. We played hard Saturday and we played hard today. We just didn't get the ball to fall for us enough when we needed it today. We hit the ball hard, and they had two or three great catches in the outfield. Their pitcher settled down and kept us off balance. He was hitting his spots."
Jon-Jon Hancock: "I was pretty pleased with my day overall. I've been seeing good pitching to hit, and when you get that, you have got to get hits. That's what I have been able to do."
Rebs lose to Bama in game three, drop series 2-1
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