OXFORD, Miss. - In a back and forth matchup in Ole Miss' opener to the Oxford Regional, the No. 1 seed Rebels (43-18) were unable to get past No. 4 seed Utah as they fell 6-5 in 10 innings.
Despite Will Golsan and Holt Perdzock both picking up two hits apiece, the Rebels managed seven hits over the 10 frames. A four-run fifth inning propelled Ole Miss to a 5-2 lead, but Utah answered with three runs in the sixth before scoring the deciding run in the 10th.
Freshman Riley Ottesen (2-2) picked up the win for the Utes (26-27), working three scoreless innings in relief. Junior Wyatt Short (2-3) was tagged with the loss as he was Utah scored an unearned run off the southpaw in the 10th inning. Ole Miss starting pitcher Brady Bramlett took a no decision despite working an effective five innings and surrendering just two runs.
"It was one of those great college baseball games. A lot of times you don't see that with a one versus four, but I think everybody was right. Utah is so good," Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said. "We just couldn't get the big hit at the end. You have to credit Utah on what a terrific job they did. They got the big pitches and some huge at-bats by those guys."
The Utes' bullpen proved to be the difference in the game, working four scoreless innings to give the Utah bats the opportunity to retake the lead for good. Offensively, Hunter Simmons led Utah by picking up three hits, including the RBI single in the 10th that was the difference in the game.
Utah got on the board first in the top of the second, but Kyle Watson evened the score in the bottom of the third by blasting a 3-1 pitch over the centerfield wall for his second career home run.
The Utes used a sac fly in the fifth inning to regain the lead at 2-1, but the Rebels' offense found life in the bottom half of the inning. A pair of walks to Ryan Olenek and Watson along with a Perdzock single loaded the bases for Errol Robinson, who drew a full-count walk to even the score at two.
The Rebels made Utah ace Jayson Rose pay for the free passes. Golsan sent a line drive back up the middle to plate two more runs and give Ole Miss its first lead of the game. The fourth and final run of the frame came in the form of a Tate Blackman groundout that brought in Robinson. The five earned runs allowed by Rose were the second most the right-hander had allowed all season.
The lead, however, was short lived as the Utes answered right back with three runs of their own in the sixth after the Rebels went to the bullpen.
Will Stokes worked two scoreless innings in relief, but made way for Short after allowing two baserunners in the eighth inning. Short promptly picked off the runner at second before delivering a pitch to end the Utah scoring threat.
Utah broke the deadlock in the 10th inning when Simmons doubled in a run to give the Utes the lead that became the decisive margin. Ole Miss did not go away quietly in the bottom half of their first extra inning of the season, getting two men on with one out. However, Dylan Drachler (9) retired back-to-back Rebels to end the game.
Ole Miss will continue play in the Oxford Regional on Saturday, facing Tulane in an elimination game at 1 p.m. CT. Sophomore lefty David Parkinson will square off against Tulane right hander Alex Massey. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and can be heard on the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network.
- Kyle Watson hit his second home run of the season and of his career.
- Ole Miss played its first extra-inning game of the 2016 campaign.
- The last two regional games Ole Miss has played at Swayze Field have gone to extra innings (W, 3-2 over Washington, June 2, 2014).
- The Rebels dropped to 5-2 all-time in regional openers at Swayze Field.
- The game's attendance of 10,166 was the eighth-largest crowd in Swayze Field history.