"Just a tough night for us," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco after his team fell to 23-11 on the season and are now losers in five of their last seven games. "We had many opportunities."
The Rebels had numerous chances to build a lead early but couldn't. They had the bases loaded in each of the first three innings but led only 3-1 after three.
Memphis led 4-3 at seventh inning stretch time, and it was still anybody's game. But things were about to get a lot better for the homestanding Tigers.
In the bottom of the seventh, Memphis added to its lead. A Rebel error was followed by a two-run single to right center by Trey Wiedman that expanded a one-run Memphis lead to 6-3.
The Rebels were able to cut the Tiger lead to 6-5 in the bottom of the eighth. But they stranded a runner again, and that's the way things ended.
Bianco said the Rebels had their chances all night, but early action was the key.
"They hit four guys, walk three, and we get four hits, and only score three runs in the first three innings," he said. "Tonight we didn't get the hit (with runners in scoring position). If you're not going to do that, then you have to be really clean in the field. I thought we pitched well. Weidman got the big hit for them. Memphis also left some opportunities out there.
"We competed hard, played hard, but you have to get them when you get a chance," he continued. "We didn't tonight."
Memphis improved to 15-18 on the season with the victory. The two teams split the series this season with the Rebels winning 7-2 in Oxford on March 2.
The winning pitcher for Memphis was Marc Ashley (1-1), the fourth of eight pitchers used in the game by the Tiger coaching staff. The final pitcher of the night for Memphis, Ryan Fraser, got his first save of the year.
Ole Miss starter Matt Crouse (2-1) got the loss. Eric Callender and Matt Tracy also saw action on the mound for the Rebs.
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