Overbey sac fly downs South Carolina
Morgan earns win with 2.1 innings of scoreless relief
OXFORD, Miss. – It was a back-and-forth battle, but the Rebels delivered the final blow when Preston Overbey came up with a sac fly to right center in the ninth to deliver a 7-6 win for Ole Miss (27-21, 11-13 SEC) against No. 1 South Carolina (37-10, 18-6 SEC).
Matt Tracy drew a walk off South Carolina closer Matt Price – only the 11th of the season – to start things in the ninth. He then moved from first to third on a single through the right side from Miles Hamblin before coming home on the fly out to right center from Overbey to give the Rebels the victory.
The win gave the Rebels a series win over the top-ranked Gamecocks. It is the second time in the last three seasons the Rebels have hosted the top-ranked team in the nation and walked away with a series win. Ole Miss took the series from then No. 1 Georgia in 2009 on the way to the Southeastern Conference championship.
“This weekend was terrific,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “It was a special weekend and one that helps our team tremendously. Even though the win today was much different than yesterday, it was great to see our guys keep it together all the way through. The team that wins normally gets the timely hit, and we were able to that today.
“South Carolina also got a lot of timely hits with guys on base down the stretch and that’s why they were able to make it stretch all the way to the bottom of the ninth. Jake Morgan is a special pitcher who throws through so much pain. It really shows his strength in a game like this to see him want the ball at the end of the game and be able to deliver the way he did.”
Morgan (3-0) picked up the win as he worked the final 2.1 innings, holding the Gamecocks scoreless with only two hits and a strikeout. Morgan now has three wins and five saves in 10 relief appearances for the Rebels after missing almost seven weeks of the season from March 20 through April 30.
Price (4-3) suffered the loss for the Gamecocks as he allowed the one run on two hits with two walks and a strikeout in three innings of work.
For the second day in a row, Ole Miss got off to a quick start with two runs in the first inning as the Rebels took advantage of a fielding error on a two-out, RBI-single up the middle from Tracy to push a pair of runs home.
The lead grew to three runs in the third as Blake Newalu scored on Hamblin's bases-loaded walk. Newalu was hit by a pitch to start the inning and moved to third on a walk and a single.
South Carolina responded in the fourth with an RBI triple from Jake Williams following a walk of Brady Thomas to get on the board. Adrian Morales' RBI single brought home the second run of the inning, scoring Williams to cut the Rebels' lead to 3-2.
The Gamecocks took the lead in the fifth inning, scoring three runs on a triple to right field from Thomas. Two batters later, Thomas scored on a Morales single that gave South Carolina a 5-3 lead.
Matt Snyder would respond in the bottom of the fifth, however, with a two-run homer to knot the game at five. Alex Yarbrough scored on the shot into the home bullpen in left field after opening the inning with a walk.
The Rebels momentarily regained the lead in the sixth on a double from Yarbrough, but South Carolina answered with a run in the seventh on a fielding error at short that allowed Morales to come home from second and even the score at six.
The Rebels’ Morgan held the Gamecocks off the board the rest of the way, allowing for the rally in the ninth inning that gave Ole Miss the win.