Minutes later, any worrying was simply a waste of effort. Bethune-Cookman was beginning to call on its overmatched and outmanned bullpen.
The Rebels (38-25) blew open a close game with 10 runs in the sixth inning, including two home runs from Michael Guerrero, as three-seed Ole Miss staved off elimination and whitewashed the fourth-seeded Wildcats 14-1 on the second day of the Coral Gables Regional.
Due to the loss, Bethune-Cookman (36-22) is eliminated, while the Rebels will face the Miami/Missouri loser at 11 a.m. (CST) Sunday. The winner of that contest will be forced to play again directly after.
"I'm proud of our guys for hanging in there in a close game, and then we had the big inning," Mike Bianco said. "Michael (Guerrero) had another great day at the plate, and I thought Jordan (Henry) was tremendous by getting on the first three times."
Morgan (5-0) entered with two runners on and one out in the fifth after Drew Pomeranz was pulled on his 90th pitch.
The reliever exited the inherited situation with a soft lineout to third baseman Cody Overbeck and a ground ball up the middle that shortstop Tim Ferguson corralled and flipped to Zach Miller, who barehanded the toss and stepped on the bag.
"Jake did a great job coming in during the fifth, and Tim Ferguson on the ball up the middle," Bianco added. "It was a ‘web gem' type of play where he flips it. If that play isn't made, the game is tied up."
That would end Morgan's day, and also give him the win, because the outcome would no longer be an issue when the Rebels finished another inning of at-bats.
BCC starter Joseph Gautier (6-3) was chased by Guerrero's first shot in the sixth, a three-run job to extend the lead to 6-1, and the Wildcats needed three more pitchers to escape the inning after the damage was done. In all, eight hits were recorded and 10 runs scored.
"Fuller (Smith) had a big hit with two outs in the sixth to extend the lead, and we didn't quit. Bethune had used up some bullpen guys against Miami, and were able to take advantage."
That makes seven home runs for Guerrero in the past seven games. Cody Overbeck finalized the scoring with a monstrous solo long ball of his own in the eighth inning, his 16th of the season.
Overbeck led the Rebels with three hits, and both Smiths, Fuller and Matt rapped two apiece.
Phillip Irwin entered after the offensive onslaught and pitched the best game of his career. The sophomore finished the final four innings and allowed just one hit while striking out nine and not walking a hitter.
Irwin picked up his first save of the season and ate up valuable innings in a performance that could become key as the weekend progresses.
"I'm proud of the way Phillip came in and pumped it into the strike zone," Bianco said.
Pomeranz, making his first career postseason start, scattered seven hits and yielded one run in 4.1 innings.
Ole Miss scored in the first when Henry crossed the plate on a single to right center from Logan Power. Henry walked before moving to second on a sac bunt.
Ole Miss moved ahead again in the third inning when Henry scored from second on a single through the right side from Fuller Smith.
See You Sunday
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