OXFORD, Miss. -- After sweeping Saturday's doubleheader to clinch the third home weekend series of the season, the No. 22-ranked Ole Miss baseball team fell to Stetson, 16-4, in the series finale Sunday afternoon at Swayze Field. The Hatters (8-8) used three big innings to get the win, scoring six runs in a pair while also putting up a four-spot throughout the game.
A couple of bright spots for the Rebels (8-6) were sophomore third baseman Colby Bortles, who went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, and sophomore center fielder J.B. Woodman, who went for 1-for-3 with a two-run home run, his first of the season and the third of his career.
On the mound, making his second career appearance, freshman right-hander John Wesley Ray worked 1.2 scoreless innings of relief. Junior left-hander Matt Denny (1.0 innings) and senior right-hander Scott Weathersby (1.1 innings) also posted scoreless outings in relief.
For Stetson, Josh Thorne (1-0) pitched three innings of relief to pick up the win, while Ben Rakus (1) finished the game to earn the save. At the plate, the Hatters put together 12 hits, including five for extra bases.
Ole Miss grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first, as Bortles legged out an RBI infield single. The Rebels loaded the bases after a hit by pitch, but they were unable to add to the lead in the frame.
Sam Smith (0-2) retired each of the first nine hitters he faced in the contest before Stetson (8-8) exploded for six runs on four hits in the fourth. The big hits in the frame came on a two-out, bases-clearing double by sophomore Vance Vizcaino to give the Hatters a 4-1 lead. Two batters later, senior second baseman Kyle Pitts followed with a two-out, two-RBI double to plate two more runs.
The Rebels cut into the lead in the fourth, making it a 6-2 game after a sacrifice fly by sophomore shortstop Errol Robinson scored Bortles, who led off the inning with a double to right. Ole Miss loaded the bases after a single by freshman second baseman Tate Blackman, but Stetson was able to get out of the inning with little harm.
The middle and late innings featured three home runs, two by Stetson and one by Woodman for Ole Miss. The Hatters stretched their lead to 10-2 with four runs in the fifth, highlighted by a three-run blast by senior right fielder Garrett Russini. A two-run home run by Woodman in the seventh made it 10-4. With one runner on base, the Rebels' center fielder left the ballpark with a dinger to right field for his first round-tripper of the 2015 campaign. Later, another three-run home run by Stetson sophomore catcher Patrick Mazeika took the lead back out to 13-4.
Ole Miss hits the road for their longest road trip of the season, going to No. 11 Louisville for a two-game midweek series, starting on Tuesday, March 10, followed by a three-game weekend series at No. 2 LSU, starting on Friday evening, March 13, at 7 p.m. CT.