Late collapse dooms Rebels

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Rebels fought hard to the last at bat, but the comeback rally fell short as No. 13 Ole Miss (31-18, 12-11 SEC) fell to Tennessee (27-19, 10-11 SEC) 7-6 on Friday as the Vols claimed the weekend series with the Rebels.

Tennessee plated six runs in a wild seventh inning to take a 7-4 lead on the Rebels before Ole Miss used a two run rally in the top of the ninth to cut the deficit to one, but it wasn't enough. The Rebels out hit the Vols 10-to-8, but left nine men stranded in the loss.

Lance Lynn (5-4) suffered the loss for the Rebels as he gave up seven runs, five earned, on seven hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. The sophomore right-hander was cruising before things came undone in the seventh inning and Tennessee took the lead. Justin Cryer closed out the game, allowing one hit with three strikeouts in 1.2 innings of work.

Danny Wiltz (2-0) picked up the win in relief for the Volunteers as he worked 2.1 innings and allowed only one hit with two walks and three strikeouts. Starter Nick Hernandez worked 4.2 innings with four runs, two earned, on four hits with five walks and two strikeouts.

"We just let it get away from us in the seventh inning," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. "This is the first time we have had things just explode on us like that. Lance lost control for a couple of batters and then some hits found some holes and we just couldn't stop it."

Zach Miller led the Rebels at the plate as he went 3-for-5 with two RBI. He was the only Rebel to record multiple hits in the game. Jordan Henry took his hitting streak to 14 games as he went 1-for-4 at the plate with an RBI.

The Rebels loaded the bases with one out in the first as Jordan Henry singled through the left side before moving to second on a wild pitch. Zack Cozart then walked before both executed a double steal to move to second and third before Cody Overbeck walked to load the bases. The Rebels then lined into a double play at second as Cozart was out on the play to end the inning.

Ole Miss got on the board in the second inning when C.J. Ketchum scored on a throwing error by Hernandez on a sac bunt attempt from Brett Basham. The throwing error allowed Basham to move to second and Kyle Mills to move to third. Mills had reached on a single to left field. Jordan Henry then drove a sac fly deep to center field to score Mills and give the Rebels a 2-0 lead.

The Rebels added a third run in the third inning when Ketchum powered a ball deep to left center, allowing Logan Power to score from third in the sac fly.

Miller singled to right field with two outs in the fifth to drive in Cozart from second and give the Rebels a 4-0 lead. Cozart was hit by a pitch before moving to second on a groundout by Power.

Andy Simunic homered to open the bottom of the fifth and get the Vols on the board as he cut the lead to 4-1 in favor of the Rebels.

The Vols got things going again in the seventh inning when Tennessee got runners to second and third with one out on the board. Jeff Lockwood singled and Ryan Jones walked before advancing on a wild pitch. The Vols then loaded the bases on a walk to put Cody Brown at first. A single up the middle from Danny Lima pushed two runs across and cut the lead to one as the Rebels led 4-3. The Vols tied things when Julio Borbon singled to short, scoring Brown. A throwing error from Cozart on the play allowed Lima to move to third on the play.

Tennessee took the lead on a fielder's choice sac bunt attempt from Tony Delmonico as Lynn tried to throw home but the throw was not in time and Lima slid in to score and give the Vols the first lead of the game at 5-4. Lynn was replaced on the mound by Justin Cryer with runners at second and third and one out on the board.

Cryer got Yan Gomes to fly out to deep center on the first pitch, allowing Borbon to move to third and putting runners at the corners with two outs. J.P. Arencibia singled up the middle to score Borbon as a throwing error from second allowed Delmonico to move to third on the play. He then scored a batter later on a passed ball as Tennessee took a 7-4 lead after the seventh.

Ole Miss mounted a two-out rally in the ninth as Miller came up with an RBI single to right to score pinch-runner JoJo Tann from third and move Power to third. Evan Button then singled to left field to score Power and cut the lead to one at 7-6. The Rebels would come up short, though, as Ole Miss could not push another run across and Tennessee claimed the game and the series.

Ole Miss and Tennessee will conclude the series on Sunday. First pitch at Lindsey Nelson Stadium is set for a noon start.

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