A prime opportunity to win a road SEC series went away quickly as Ole Miss (14-6/2-1) stormed back from a three run deficit to defeat Vanderbilt 10-8.
The Rebels won two out of three against the Dores this weekend and won both their games in different ways. Ole Miss pulled off the win Sunday in part by their own doing but it was mostly done and given to them by the Vanderbilt bullpen.
Dores starting pitcher Drake Fellows held a 6-3 lead in the 4th inning, when head coach Tim Corbin pulled him in favor of the bullpen. The true freshman had his troubles early, giving up two runs in the 1st inning but he was able to settle down and actually started to look pretty good. In the 4th, Fellows began to run into some trouble and Coach Corbin felt it was time to go with someone else.
The bullpen quickly made things interesting as Collin Snider came in and gave up a hit to left field that scored a run and the next batter, he hit him and placed him on 1st base. Paxton Stover would come in one batter later to get out of things with an inning ending double-play.
The 6th inning is when things began to become very interesting. Holding a three run lead, Vanderbilt's bullpen continued their poor play from the mound. Matt Ruppenthal didn't have his best stuff on Sunday as he pitched the sixth allowing only one hit on two runs while walking one hitter. His lack of control hurt him in this game as Ole Miss would tie the game at 6-6 and basically restart the game even.
Vanderbilt's bats, who woke up on Saturday, continued their progression on Sunday. Clawing out six runs through six innings, the Vanderbilt offense did their job in game three but needed help from the pitching staff.
The Commodores (13-8/1-2) would take the lead the very next inning after freshman J.J. Bleday blasted his 2nd home run of the season over the right field wall to give Vanderbilt an 8-6 lead.
That would be the last time the Commodores were on top. Ole Miss stormed back over the next three innings to eventually take a 10-8 lead and close things out in the 9th behind Rebels closer Dallas Wolfolk.
The Vanderbilt bullpen pitched six innings giving up seven runs on just five hits while walking four batters and striking out one. It was easily the worst performance from the Commodores bullpen on the season thus far. It appeared too many times that the Vanderbilt pitchers were too focused on striking someone out instead of just pitching to contact. That approach hurt them in the end.
SEC season starts out with Vanderbilt dropping two of three on the road when they easily could of came back home with a road series win. Vanderbilt will return to the diamond on Tuesday night, inside First Tennessee Ballpark against the Belmont Bruins. First pitch is set for 6:30 pm Central.