Rebels stumble at USM

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Rebels hit the ball on Wednesday but couldn't come up with the timely hit as No. 13 Ole Miss (24-11, 7-5 SEC) fell to Southern Miss (21-13) by a score of 4-2.

Ole Miss out hit the Golden Eagles 9-to-5, but Southern Miss took advantage of eight walks and two hit by pitch on the way to the win.

Brett Bukvich (4-2) suffered the loss for the Rebels as he gave up two runs on two hits with four walks and three strike outs as he worked 3.0 innings.

Mike Cashion (1-0) picked up his first win of the season as he worked 5.0 innings, allowing only one run on six hits with three walks and a strikeout. Tyler Conn picked up his fourth save of the year as he worked the final 2.0 innings as he gave up one run on two hits with one strikeout.

"There were too many opportunities for them tonight," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. "You can't give a team that many opportunities. Offensively, we got the hits but we couldn't get the key hit or bunch them together to make something happen."

Ole Miss got on the board in the first with a single to left from Logan Power that scored Jordan Henry from second. Henry reached on a walk and then moved to second on a groundout to the pitcher from brother, Justin Henry.

Southern Miss struck back in the second inning with a two-RBI single up the middle from Matt Ewing that scored Cuevas and Blount from second and third. Both batters reached on back-to-back walks to open the inning before advancing to scoring position on a passed ball. Southern Miss led 2-1 after the second.

Bukvich hit back-to-back batters to open the fourth inning before Phillip Irwin entered the game in relief of the southpaw starter. A sac bunt from Hartel moved both runners to scoring position. Irwin retired the next two batters before a walk loaded the bases, but Irwin got a groundout to second to end the threat and hold the Golden Eagles off the board.

A two-run home run in the fifth from Trey Cuevas pushed the Southern Miss lead to 4-1.

Zach Miller pinch hit with runners at second and third in the eighth, notching a sac fly on a deep ball to right field that scored JoJo Tann from third. Tann pinch ran for C.J. Ketchum who reached on a throwing error. He then moved to second on a wild pitch before advancing to third on a double to center field from a pinch-hitting Peyton Farr. The run cut the lead to 4-2 heading to the bottom half of the eighth.

The Rebels could get no closer as Southern Miss collected the win for the split in the season series.

Ole Miss will return to action on Friday, opening a three-game SEC series with the Tigers of LSU. First-pitch on Friday is set for 7 p.m. at Alex Box Stadium.

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