NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A Colby Bortles grand slam in the ninth forced extra innings, and a Henri Lartigue double scored the game-winning run in the 16th as Ole Miss team rallied to knock off No. 1 Vanderbilt 7-6 Friday night at Hawkins Field. The thrilling victory against the Commodores (28-8, 11-3 SEC) marked the Rebels' (17-18, 6-8 SEC) fourth win this season against a team ranked No. 1 in the nation.
The 16-inning game was the second extra-inning game of the year for Ole Miss. The Rebels defeated then-No. 1 LSU in 14 innings earlier this season after rallying to tie the game in the ninth inning of that contest as well. The two games mark the first time in Ole Miss history that the Diamond Rebels have played two 14-plus inning games in one season. The 16-inning game also was the third-longest in program history.
Bortles' ninth-inning heroics kept the Rebels alive as his grand slam, with nobody out, cleared the wall in left field. He homered for the fourth time this season, registering the second grand slam of his Ole Miss career. The third baseman was also the last Rebel to hit a grand slam before tonight, going deep against Arkansas State, May 13, 2014.
"This is definitely a confidence booster," noted Bortles.
The bullpen trio of Jacob Waguespack, Wyatt Short and Scott Weathersby (1-1) combined to pitch 11 shutout innings. Add in starter Brady Bramlett, and the Ole Miss pitching staff kept the No. 1 team in the country off the scoreboard for 14 of the 16 innings. Waguespack pitched three scoreless innings before Short added a pair of shutdown innings. Weathersby finished the game by lasting a career-long six innings and striking out a career-high 10 hitters.
"I was just trying to keep throwing because we needed this," Weathersby said. "This is one that really boosted the team spirit, and hopefully we come out tomorrow ready to go and win a series. We need to keep competing and fighting. Some games haven't gone our way, but for this team to keep fighting to get a win like this was huge."
Bramlett kept the Commodores hitless until the fourth inning. The Ole Miss starter ended his night allowing five runs (three earned) on three hits and three walks in the no decision; he also struck out five in his ninth start of the season.