OXFORD, Miss. – Tanner Mathis delivered a bases loaded walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the No. 18-ranked Mississippi Rebels to a 4-3 Southeastern Conference win over No. 22 Alabama on Sunday afternoon from Swayze Field. The Rebels completed the series sweep with the win, as the Crimson Tide drops to 22-16 overall and 8-7 in SEC play. Mississippi improves to 26-10 overall and 7-8 in conference play.
The Rebels got a single by Anthony Mistone to open the 11th, then a bunt single by Cameron Dishon put runners on first and second with no out. Ray Castillo walked Preston Overbey walked to load the bases, then after Castillo struck out Will Jamison, Mathis singled to left field on the first pitch to drive in the game-winning run.
Castillo threw 4.1 innings in relief of Spencer Turnbull and suffered his first loss of the season to drop to 2-1 on the year. Mississippi reliever Brett Huber threw a scoreless 11th inning to pick up the victory to improve to 3-1 on the year.
The Tide finished the day with 10 hits but left a total of 13 runners on base in the game, including nine in scoring position. Austen Smith led Alabama with three hits and Kenny Roberts and Georgie Salem had two hits each. Andrew Miller had a double, an RBI and scored a run and Chance Vincent had an RBI single to that put the Tide ahead in the eighth inning.
Neither starter factored into the decision, as Turnbull threw six innings, allowing two runs on six hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Mississippi starter, Sam Smith lasted just 4.2 innings, allowing no runs on four hits with two walks and a strikeout.
Mississippi finished the day with 12 hits as Mathis was 2-for-4 and Mistone was 2-for-5 with two RBI.
The Rebels jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one inning, scoring on RBI singles by Austin Anderson and Mistone. The run scoring single by Anderson snapped Turnbull’s scoreless innings streak at 29.2.
Alabama had opportunities to score in the second, third and fifth innings. In the second, UA left the bases loaded, then with runners on the corners in the third when Booth grounded into an inning-ending double play, and in the fifth, Moore popped up to second to end the inning with runners on second and third.
Alabama finally got on the scoreboard in the seventh inning. After Miller doubled to open the inning, he moved to third on a single by Salem with one out. Roberts followed with an RBI ground out to third to allow Miller to score.
The Crimson Tide tied the game at 2-2 in the eighth inning when Miller had a sacrifice fly to right field with the bases loaded that was deep enough to allow Brett Booth to score from third. Booth reached on a throwing error by Mississippi shortstop Jake Overbey to open the inning. After Kyle Overstreet advanced to third on the Miller fly ball, nine-hole hitter Vincent delivered a two-out RBI single up the middle to plate Overstreet, giving the Tide a 3-2 lead in the eighth.
After the Tide took their first lead of the series, the Rebels answered in the bottom of the inning when Mistone delivered a two-out RBI single off Castillo to tie the score at 3-3. The Rebels had runners on the corners with two outs in the ninth, but Overstreet made a nice back-handed play and flipped to White at second to get the final out of the inning and send the game to extra innings.
Alabama’s best chance to score in extra innings came in the 11th inning when they had runners on the corners with two outs, but Booth flied out to right field to end the threat.
Alabama returns to Sewell-Thomas Stadium on Tuesday night when it hosts UAB at 6:05 p.m. CST.
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