Sunday Slumber

Florida radio announcer Steve Russell made the most accurate observation possible Sunday. As Ole Miss was committing its third error of the afternoon, the voice of the Gators informed his listening audience "Everything possible is going wrong for the Rebels."

Straight to the point and painfully obvious.

No. 8 Ole Miss (15-8, 3-3) surrendered four runs in an inning for the third straight game, and Florida (17-4, 5-1) kept firing for all nine frames in a decisive 10-2 rubber-match victory for the Gators before an announced Swayze field crowd of 4,163.

The Rebels seized the momentum Friday with a walk-off win, but Florida supplied the energy on the final two days and left Oxford with its second straight SEC series victory and the overall league lead.

"We were outplayed in all three phases," Mike Bianco said. "They played much better than us the last two days."

Ole Miss retired the Gators in order to open the game, but just like Friday, Florida came out swinging in the second inning. The visitors used a Zach Miller error (his first of the season) to get things going and pushed across two earned runs and two unearned runs for the early advantage. And unlike the previous weekend meetings, the Rebels never countered.

Instead the Gators piled on two more multiple-run innings and took all the air out of the stadium with a three-run blast in the fifth frame to run Ole Miss starter Nathan Baker.

"It is all about having the will, the heart and playing the game like it is meant to be played," Miller said. "It is about your own personal desire, everyone on the team needs it. We have to figure it out.

"When are we going to beat out a ball? Or make a great play? Overall, we just didn't want it as bad as they did."

Baker fell to 1-3 on the season and suffered from a lack of run support and less than stellar defense for the fourth straight week. Ole Miss has scored a combined three runs on the last three Sundays and have committed three errors in each the Mississippi State and Florida finales.

The sophomore serviceably worked through the miscues during the second inning, but Florida finally snowballed Baker's day with Josh Adams' home run in the fifth. The left-hander allowed five earned runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings.

"I thought that knocked the wind out of us," Bianco said.

Matt Smith continued his solid weekend with three hits, while Cody Overbeck extended his season-long hitting streak, compiling a single and his seventh home run of the season.

On the mound, Drew Pomeranz drew his first action of the weekend with 3.2 innings of relief work. The Gators got to the freshman for two earned runs and five hits, including a home run.

Florida pounded out 14 hits and was errorless in the field, as starter Tommy Toledo (4-0) scattered six hits and surrendered one run in seven solid innings.

"Talent is great, but confidence, heart and how you play the game is the equalizer in baseball," Bianco said. "We didn't have tough enough at-bats or play defense. It is about handling adversity."

Ole Miss will attempt to rebound Tuesday against Southern Miss at Trustmark Park in Pearl. Phillip Irwin will start for the Rebels in the 6:30 contest.

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