The Rebels, who fell to the Crimson Tide 19-6 in the series finale, committed four errors against the Billikens, with four Ole Miss pitchers allowing 15 hits. Those numbers won't win many games, even against Atlantic-10 Conference competition.
"Giving up 34 runs in two games hasn't been good and it hasn't been a lot of fun," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco, his team now 15-6 on the season. "It's been a mixture of a lot of things. One, not very good pitching. Two, defensively we hurt ourselves tonight. We had opportunities to not allow as many runs to cross."
On the other side of the coin, Bianco was pleased.
"Proud of the way the offense continues to scratch and claw," he said. "It seems like they're never out of the game regardless of the score. And that's a neat thing to see. But you can't give up that many runs."
The Rebels trailed 4-0 before scoring three in the bottom of the third inning. The visitors poured it on offensively at that point, however. A five-run fourth inning gave the Billikens a 9-3 lead, and a three-run fifth made it 12-3.
But the Rebels made a comeback at that point. After a four-run bottom of the fifth pulled Ole Miss to within five at 12-7, Jeremy Travis added a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth, and Matt Snyder added a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh.
At that point Ole Miss had moved to within a run of Saint Louis at 12-11. But the Rebels couldn't hold them.
Reliever Aaron Barrett, the third of four pitchers Ole Miss used on the night, departed with two men aboard and one out in the top of the eighth. The first batter Rory McKean faced, leadoff hitter Cody Cotter, sent one out of the ballpark to pad the SLU lead back to four runs at 15-11, which is how things stood when the final out was recorded.
Wade Broyles started for the Rebels and went two innings, allowing two runs on two hits with two strikeouts and a walk. Michael Park took over to start the third inning and allowed five runs, three earned, on four hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
Barrett came in for four innings, had trouble early, but put zeros up in the sixth and seventh. His line read five hits, seven runs, five earned, three strikeouts, four walks.
McKean settled down after the Cotter three-run and went the final 1.2 innings, allowing four hits but only one of the runs was credited to him (two were Barrett holdovers), with a strikeout and no walks.
"Today we were a little stretched just because of what happened on Sunday," Bianco said of his pitching staff. "Going to Southern Miss and some really crazy SEC rules where if you're going to leave (for a weekend trip), you can only leave with the 25 guys. So we're a little limited. That's not to make excuses. They know we wouldn't put them out there if we didn't think they could get them out."
The second of three Billiken pitchers, Jerry Mancuso, got the win and is 1-1. Broyles, making his first collegiate start, got the loss and is 0-1.
The Billikens, 12-10 on the season, committed three errors themselves.
Ole Miss and USM play in Hattiesburg Wednesday night. Junior LHP Nathan Baker is set to start for the Rebels.
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