HOOVER, Ala. -- No. 7 seed Ole Miss (43-16) stopped a late rally by No. 6 seed Vanderbilt (43-16) to earn a 12-9 win in the SEC Baseball Tournament. The win marks the first time Ole Miss has scored at least 10 runs in back-to-back SEC Tournament games.
The Ole Miss offense came alive early to take a 4-0 lead in the second inning. Henri Lartigue singled to center followed by Colby Bortles doubling to left to bring Lartigue across the plate for the first run of the game. With the bases loaded after back-to-back walks, Cameron Dishon sent two runners home with a double to increase the lead to 3-0. Ole Miss added another run in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Errol Robinson.
The Ole Miss lead grew to 5-0 in the third when J.B. Woodman hit his SEC-leading 14th home run.
The Rebels produced another four-run inning in the fifth. Ole Miss' sixth run came on an RBI fielder's choice by Lartigue. Bortles delivered another double to send three more Rebels across the plate.
The nine runs across five innings tied the most runs given up by Vanderbilt starter Jordan Sheffield (8-5). Ryan Johnson came in from the bullpen for the top of the sixth frame and Ole Miss tacked on another run when Robinson scored on a wild pitch.
The Commodores got on the board in the bottom of the sixth when Bryan Reynolds hit his 13th home run of the season, second most in the conference after Woodman. With two runners on base, Ole Miss called in right-hander Connor Green from the bullpen. Vandy cut the Rebels' lead to 10-3 when the two Commodores scored on an Ole Miss error. Jason Delay's groundout added another run for Vanderbilt. With one runner on base, Ethan Paul knocked one deep to left, but Ole Miss ended the scoring threat when Kyle Watson made a leaping catch at the wall to close the inning.
Ole Miss pinch hitter Michael Fitzsimmons added another run for the Rebels in the seventh with an RBI single.
Vandy responded with a run in the bottom of the frame when Reynolds singled up the middle to score Jeren Kendall. The Commodores loaded the bases with a single, fielder's choice and walk. Andy Pagnozzi entered from the bullpen and struck out Walker Grisanti to get the Rebels out of the jam.
Chandler Day and Maddux Conger finished out the game on the mound for the Commodores. The Rebels increased their lead to 12-5 when Will Golsan scored on a throwing error in the eighth.
Brady Feigl replaced Pagnozzi on the mound as the Rebels faced another bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the eighth, and Ole Miss was once again able to escape without any damage.
Vanderbilt loaded the bases for the third straight inning and were able to capitalize in the bottom of the ninth when Kendall hit his school-tying eighth triple to bring three runs home. Wyatt Short took over on the bump, giving up a run when Reynolds singled to send Kendall across the plate. Alonzo Jones grounded into a fielder's choice that ended the Commodores' rally and the game.
"I think they are seeing the ball well and swinging the bat with a lot of confidence," said Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco. "It's not just a few guys; it's a lot of different people. Today, I thought the whole game was about the timely hit. We got guys on and were able to score. Fortunately, we were able to get off the field with their players still on base. We were able to make a pitch and not let the whole ballgame blow up on us."
Ole Miss right-hander James McArthur (6-1) picked up the win, giving up three runs on five hits across 5.1 innings.
Vanderbilt faces No. 3 seed Texas A&M in an elimination game Friday at 4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT on SEC Network.
After three straight wins in the SEC Tournament, Ole Miss has a day off on Friday and will play again Saturday in Game 15 at 1 p.m ET/ 12 p.m. CT on SEC Network. The Rebels will square off with the winner of Friday's Aggies-Commodores matchup for a spot in the SEC Championship.