Baseball: Ole Miss 6, Vanderbilt 5

Nashville, Tenn. (VUAD)– Top-ranked Vanderbilt dropped the team’s longest game since 2010 with a 6-5 loss to Ole Miss in 16 innings Friday night at Hawkins Field.

The Commodores (28-8, 11-3) took a 5-1 lead into the ninth inning after starter Walker Buehler dominated the first eight innings against the Rebels (17-18, 6-8). Philip Pfeifer, however, was wild out of the bullpen hitting the first batter he faced then walking the next two batters to load the bases. Colby Bortles made him pay, hitting a grand slam over the left field wall to tie the game. Pfeifer recovered to get the next three Rebels to send the game to the bottom of the ninth even at 5-5. The Dores put two runners on with two outs but failed to score in the ninth.

The Commodores had their best chance in the 11th inning when the team loaded the bases with no outs but a pair of strikeouts and a fly out to right field ended the threat and sent the game to the 12th inning. Ole Miss finally scratched out a run in the top of the 16th inning with two outs. Kyle Wright walked Errol Robinson with two outs and Henri Lartigue gave Ole Miss its first lead since the third inning, lining a double into the right field corner to score Robinson all the way from first.

Rebels’ reliever Scott Weathersby worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the inning to wrap up his sixth inning of work to earn the win.

The two teams combined to throw 569 pitches with seven pitchers taking the ball. Buehler’s start was wasted with the right-hander striking out a career-high 13 over eight stellar innings. Buehler allowed just one run on five hits with one walk in no decision. Wright took the loss allowing one run on one hit in two innings of work. Pfeifer pitched a season-high six innings allowing four runs on two hits with five walks and six strikeouts. Vandy pitchers combined to strikeout a season-high 22, matching the Hawkins Field record set against Austin Peay in 2007.

Ro Coleman paced the VU offense with three of the team’s eight hits and Will Toffey hit his second home run of the season, a two-run shot in the fourth inning.

The 16-inning game is the longest since 2010 when the Commodores beat Louisville in 17 innings at Hawkins Field.

The two teams wrap up the series Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. on SEC Network. Jordan Sheffield gets the ball for the home team against Ole Miss right-hander Will Stokes.

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