Ole Miss secured the series win with one game left to play after a walk-off dinger by Tate Blackman gave the Rebels a 5-4 lead. The game wasn’t pretty, with Ole Miss struggling to find hits early and compiling four errors on the day.
David Parkinson started on the mound for the Rebels; he gave up seven hits and two home runs before being replaced by Brady Feigl in the sixth inning. Feigl had a short outing, getting pulled before the inning was up. Will Stokes relieved him and was out there for an inning before being replaced by Dallas Woolfolk, who finished the game.
“David struggled today with his command of both breaking balls, his change-up and the fastball which you can always count on,” head coach Mike Bianco said. “Certain hitters he had trouble getting it into the strike zone. He hung in there in that inning where we made a couple of errors.”
Alabama hit a solo homer to right field to go up 1-0 in the second inning. The home run would start a streak of three innings in which the Tide sored a run.
“We didn’t play our best defensively,” Blackman said. “But we came ready to swing it.”
In the third inning, Alabama loaded the bases and brought a man home for a two run lead. It looked as if Alabama would put a few more runs on the board before Ryan Olenek made a diving catch in center to end the inning, potentially saving the game.
“That’s what you have to do in this league,” Bianco said. “You got to hang around and sometimes good things happen.”
With runners on second and third, Thomas Dillard came up to bat and grounded out but earned an RBI in the process. Tim Rowe scored the run to make it a 3-1 game.
“If you look at the balls we hit hard over the past two weeks we’ve been swinging it very well,” Blackman said. “All you can control is the way you swing the bat and what pitch you’re swinging at.”
Nick Fortes had a solid outing for Ole Miss, going 3-4 at the plate with an RBI. He was able to improve his average to .347, which currently leads the team.
“We keep on hitting the ball hard and that’s all we can ask for,” said Blackman. “Sooner or later they’re going to drop.”
The sixth inning saw Ole Miss score three runs which tied the game at four thanks to RBIs from Nick Fortes, Cole Zabowski and Grae Kessinger.
“I think the message you take away from that is we hung in there,” said Bianco. “It could have gotten ugly and it wasn’t clean, certainly on the defensive side.”
In the ninth inning with one out and nobody on, Tate Blackman came to the plate and sealed the deal. He hit a walk-off homer to finish off the comeback win.
“We had some timely hits and that’s what we’ve been lacking lately besides the last few days we’ve been pretty good at that,” said Blackman. “It’s a good feeling when you can produce on opportunities.”