OXFORD, Miss. -- In a game that included five lead changes, Ole Miss saw its season come to a surprising close at the hands of No. 15 Tulane in Saturday's elimination game in the Oxford Regional. A ninth inning two-run home run off the bat of catcher Jake Rogers secured the 6-5 win for the Green Wave (40-20) over the Rebels (43-19).
Rogers and Hunter Williams led Tulane offensively, collecting a combined five hits and five RBI for the Wave.
"The other teams just played better than we did, got a few more hits, a few more pitches and made a few more plays," said head coach Mike Bianco. "I'm just so proud of this team. I don't think many expected us to be playing in June in Oxford with this team this year. But those guys in the third base dugout did. As a coach I couldn't be any prouder. It's all you can ask, for them to give you everything they can. It's just a wonderful group of kids and they are great representatives of the University and it is just a shame that it ended like this."
Juniors Errol Robinson and Colby Bortles tallied two hits apiece to pace the Ole Miss bats. Robinson provided a clutch bases-loaded two-RBI single in the seventh, while Bortles scored a team-high two runs with one coming courtesy of his eighth home run of the season. For the second straight day, sophomore Kyle Watson homered to deep centerfield and reached base three times in the contest.
Ole Miss starting pitcher David Parkinson received a no decision after limiting Tulane to two runs in 5.2 innings of work. It was Parkinson's fourth consecutive start with two or fewer earned runs allowed.
It was the first time all season that the Rebels failed to win when leading after eight innings. Corey Merrill (4-1) picked up the win for Tulane, working three innings in relief.
Ole Miss led off the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when J.B. Woodman sent a 3-0 pitch to deep center for an RBI double, bringing in Tate Blackman.
Tulane's Williams gave the Wave a lead with a pair of solo shots to center in the second and fourth innings.
The Rebels used long balls of their own to retake the lead in the fifth inning. Bortles led off the inning with a homer to left field on a 1-0 pitch. Two batters later, Watson hit his second home run of the regional to give the Rebels the 3-2 advantage.
Parkinson's day came to an end after Tulane had two batters reach via infield singles in the top of the sixth. Ole Miss called on freshman Connor Green out of the bullpen with two outs. He delivered by striking out Tulane's Hunter Hope to end the scoring threat.
Tulane would re-claim the lead in the seventh by way of a Grant Brown RBI double and a Rogers RBI single. However, Ole Miss would answer right back in the bottom half of the inning. The Rebels loaded up the bases with singles from Henri Lartigue and Bortles as well as a walk from Holt Perdzock. As he has done throughout his Rebel career, Robinson came through with two outs in the inning by sending a 2-2 pitch through the left side of the infield to score both Lartigue and Bortles and give the Rebels back the lead, 5-4.
After a scoreless eighth inning, the Green Wave took the lead with one swing of the bat in the top of the ninth. Rogers followed up a one-out walk by sending a 1-2 pitch over the left field wall to give Tulane the 6-5 lead.
Ole Miss was not able to mount a ninth-inning rally, bringing the 2016 season to an unfortunate close.