/Dismal night puts Ole Miss season on the line

Dismal night puts Ole Miss season on the line

Utah erased a three run deficit with rain over the final few innings and scored a run in top of the 10th to win 6-5. This victory sent the Rebels into the loser’s bracket at the Oxford Regional of NCAA Tournament. Southern Miss had started the day by defeating South Alabama 14-2 at Tallahassee. Mississippi State won 9-5 at Starkville. With 10,166 mostly red-clad supporters cheering them on, they took a 5-2 lead in fifth inning Friday night. It was a festive atmosphere. In the outfield, beer flowed freely. The lead was not held by the Rebels. So, Ole Miss will attempt to keep alive Saturday’s game, weather permitting. Utah advances in the winner’s bracket and will face Boston College at 5:15 p.m. Stormy weather forecasts make all that “iffy.” The Rebels are also facing an “Iffy” situation. To advance to the Super Regional next week, the Rebels will need to beat Tulane’s team and win three consecutive games. Difficult? Yes. Do-able? Yes, again. The 2016 season saw six consecutive winning streaks that included four or more games for the Rebels. Ole Miss shortstop Errol Robertson said, “We have always responded in these situations.” We are a confident group. We are a confident team. The Utes entered the Regional with a 25-25-27 record. This is why they were ranked No. The 4th seed had to face Ole Miss, the top-seeded team in the first round. Give Utah credit. The Utes were in a tough atmosphere and fell behind halfway through, but rallied. Bill Kinneburg, Utah coach, said that it was a great college game in a great environment. My 27 players fought hard and I couldn’t be prouder of them.” Utah is definitely not your typical No. 4 seed. The Utes are particularly dangerous with Jason Rose, their right-hander (11-5 record, 102 strikes in 103 innings), on the mound. Rose pitched six innings and allowed four hits while striking out five before being relieved with the game tied at 5. Brady Bramlett pitched five innings and gave up three runs and two hits. Ole Miss also received a great effort from Rose. He was leading 5-2 when he left. Bramlett’s normally reliable freshman relief Brady Feigi joined the game in the sixth, but he struggled. Mike Bianco, Ole Miss skipper, stated that with a 5-2 lead we are usually quite good. “We couldn’t get off of the field in the top half of the sixth,” Feigi said. He gave up three runs on two hits including Josh Rose’s double. Bianco said, “Brady’s been so great for us, but tonight he had a hard time.” Sometimes we forget that he is a freshman. It was a difficult situation, big game with 10,000 fans, we have the lead and it’s pouring.” But the Utes pulled it off. After two out, the Utes scored the winning run and no one was on base in the tenth. Hunter Simmons’ double earned pinch-runner Chandler Anderson the win. Except for the cheers from the Utah players, and possibly 40 to 50 Utes fans, the stadium was silent.