Early Deficit Costly

Allowing nine runs in the first two innings will most of the time prove costly. Ole Miss followed that script against South Carolina, falling 12-10 in the contest after falling behind 9-2 through an inning and a half.

"When you give up nine in the first two innings on a Friday night, your chances aren't real good," said Ole Miss Coach Mike Bianco, his team falling to 24-9 overall and 8-5 in Southeastern Conference play. "Our offense hung in there and made it a ballgame."

That it did as the Rebels continued to battle throughout. But it was always too little too late in this one.

Rebel starter Drew Pomeranz, who only was credited with four earned runs of the nine runs after a first-inning error on shortstop Kevin Mort, didn't make it through two innings as he gave way to reliever Rory McKean with two outs in the second. By then the Gamecocks led 8-2, and McKean gave up an RBI single before getting out of the inning.

Like they had done in the first inning, the Rebels added two runs in the bottom of the second to trim the USC lead to 9-4, this time on a Logan Power two-run home run.

Things remained that way until the top of the fifth when the Gamecocks added a run and did so again in the top of the sixth to lead 11-4.

But the Rebels added three runs in the bottom of the sixth, two of them on a home run by Evan Button and another on a Matt Snyder sacrifice fly, which scored Jordan Henry after he had doubled and stolen third.

Down 11-7, the Rebels scored another run in the bottom of the seventh with Kyle Henson scoring on a wild pitch after he doubled and advanced to third on a David Phillips ground out. At 11-8 with two at-bats remaining, there was hope for the home team.

Carolina got another run to make it 12-8 when a leadoff walk came back to haunt reliever Kyle Barbeck. With David Goforth replacing Barbeck, nine-hole hitter Bobby Haney flew out to center field to score the run.

Ole Miss scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth but couldn't score more. Henry reached on a fielder's choice which got Miller home after he had singled. Power singled to right to score Tim Ferguson who had reached on a base hit.

But that was all the Rebels could get as USC improved to 22-11 and 6-7.

"Give it to South Carolina," said losing UM pitcher Pomeranz, now 3-1 on the year. "They were swinging it well. It was like everything I threw up there today they hit. I should have made more pitches."

South Carolina outhit Ole Miss 15-12.

Starter Sam Dyson (5-2) got the win for USC.

Leadoff batter Whit Merrifield was 5-or-6 with an RBI and three runs scored as he was a home run short of the cycle. Parker Bangs and Justin Dalles, who had four RBI, had three hits each.

Matt Smith paced Ole Miss with a 3-for-4 night along with an RBI.

Power was 2-for-5 with with three RBI, and Button had a two-RBI homer in the sixth. Miller went 2-for-4 in the game.

Bianco was ejected late in the game by the home plate umpire.

"Arguing balls and strikes," was the explanation Bianco gave after the game.

The two teams meet again at 4 p.m. Saturday.

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