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Oxford, Mississippi

No. 23 Rebels saved by Servideo's walk-off home run

174 days ago
Ole Miss Athletics
Photo: Ole Miss Athletics

OXFORD, Miss. - No. 23 Ole Miss (3-1) worked themselves deep in a hole early in Wednesday's game vs. Alcorn State (2-2), and though it took 10 innings to overcome, junior shortstop Anthony Servideo ensured a dramatic Rebel win with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th.

Alcorn State quickly got out to a four-run lead in the first, but the Rebels slowly clawed back from their early deficit before taking their first lead in the sixth inning. The next four innings would feature two more lead changes and one tie, resulting in a 8-8 ballgame after nine full innings, marking the first time this season the Rebels would head to extra innings.

Ole Miss also used a litany of pitchers today, with six different Rebels taking the mound, but sophomore Braden Forsyth was able to pick up his first career win after tossing the ninth and 10th innings of the game.

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The Rebels were behind early after allowing four Alcorn State runs in the opening frame of today's ballgame. It was not a memorable start for senior Greer Holston, who gave up two walks and three singles before being relieved for fellow senior Taylor Broadway. The Braves tacked on two more runs in the inning that came on a two-RBI single, and Ole Miss quickly found themselves in a four-run hole.

Broadway, however, was very effective in relief, and ensured that the Braves weren't able to tack on to their lead in 3.0 innings of work. He racked up four strikeouts which led all Rebel pitchers today, and didn't allow a single run on just three hits.

While Broadway was busy ensuring that the Braves didn't extend their lead, the Rebels got to work in chipping away at the Alcorn State lead. They would go on to spread five runs across the next three innings that was jumpstarted by a pair of homers from Knox Loposer and Tyler Keenan.

The sophomore catcher started off a Rebel rally with a two-out home run in the second inning, a solo shot into the visiting bullpen. Servideo extended the inning with yet another two-out RBI, this one a single through the right side that plated Jerrion Ealy from second base.

The third inning was just as advantageous for the Rebels, who were able to tack on two more to cut the deficit to just one. Keenan led off the inning with a towering homer into the student section before Kevin Graham and Ben Van Cleve reached on a walk and single, respectively. Justin Bench, pinch hitting for Hayden Leatherwood, was able to score Graham on a sacrifice fly and make it a 4-4 ballgame.

Ole Miss put their first two runners on in the next inning and cashed in when Keenan was able to pick up his second RBI of the day on a fielder's choice back to the pitcher that allowed Servideo to score.

A pair of freshmen in Benji Gilbert and Logan Savell provided some relief over the middle innings, as the pitchers combined for 3.0 IP and two runs allowed, with one credited to each arm. Savell, however, exited in the seventh inning after allowing a leadoff home run. His successor, senior Austin Miller, also allowed a solo homer in the inning, and Alcorn State was able to re-tie the ballgame at 7.

Miller was otherwise flawless and turned in 2.0 innings of relief all the way through the end of the eighth inning before sophomore Braden Forsyth took over to start the ninth.

Before Forsyth entered, however, Elko provided the go-ahead run in the eighth inning with an RBI single off the bench. He scored Peyton Chatagnier from second, while Cael Baker was able to go first to third on the hit. The inning could have been more beneficial for the Rebels, but pinch runner Trey LaFleur was called out at the plate trying to score on a dropped third strike after the catcher threw to first.

Elko's RBI proved short-lived, however, when the Braves were able to tie up the game in the top of the ninth after stringing together one run. Alcorn State threatened to take the lead, at one point even loading the bases with just one out, but Forsyth powered through the moment and stranded all three runners with back-to-back strikeouts.

In an 8-8 ballgame in the bottom of the 10th, Servideo didn't waste much time in taking command of the game, and lifted an inside fastball high over the wall in right-center to give the Rebels the 9-8 victory over Alcorn State. Ole Miss starts out the 2020 midweek slate a solid 1-0 after Servideo's first career walk-off homer.

The Rebels will host the Xavier Musketeers this weekend for a three-game series, with a first pitch on Friday set for 4 p.m.

Quick Hits

- Ole Miss improves to 3-1 on the year on the year, and 1-0 all-time in today's first ever game vs. Alcorn State.

- The Rebels improved to 28-1 all-time against teams from the SWAC. - Anthony Servideo's walk-off HR in the bottom of the 10th was his first career walk-off HR, and his second homer of the year.

- Servideo's walk-off HR was the first for a Rebel since March 2, 2019, when Thomas Dillard walked-off Long Beach State.

- Servideo is now hitting .550 on the year through the first four games. - Sophomore Braden Forsyth picked up his first career win today after working the ninth and 10th innings.

- The Rebels racked up ninewalks at the plate today.

- Ole Miss runners also combined for sevenstolen bases in today's contest.

- Today marked senior Greer Holston's first start since May 2, 2017 as a freshman at Ole Miss.

- Sophomore Knox Loposer's first hit of the season was a solo HR in the second inning.

- Freshman Jerrion Ealy reached base three times today, and stole a bag each times he was aboard.

- The Rebels' leading base stealer from 2019, Anthony Servideo, also stole two bases today.

- Tyler Keenan was the leading RBI provider from 2019, and he was back to his old ways with a pair of runs batted in today.