OMAHA, Neb. – Ole Miss is proving a knack for the dramatic at the College World Series. After losing in walk-off fashion on Sunday, the Rebels returned the favor on Texas Tech, eliminating the Red Raiders, 2- 1, on John Gatlin’s walk-off single in the ninth.
Ole Miss (47-20) lost a 1-0 lead in the top of the ninth before rallying to end Texas Tech’s (45-21) season.
With pinch-runner Aaron Greenwood on third and Brantley Bell on first, Gatlin pinch-hit against reliever Dominic Moreno. As Texas Tech employed a drawn-in, five infielder alignment, Moreno worked ahead of Gatlin, 1-2. Moreno’s next offering was off the outside corner, but Gatlin slapped it over the second baseman’s head and in front of right fielder Stephen Smith to lift Ole Miss to its eighth walk-off win of the season.
In its maiden trip to the CWS, Texas Tech was undone by errors.
With Colby Bortles on first following a one-out walk, Cameron Smith (8-3) induced Bell to hit a comebacker to the mound. Smith double-clutched his throw, however, with the toss escaping the reach of shortstop Tim Proudfoot and rolling into short center field.
By the time Devon Conley retrieved the ball, Bortles was at third with the game-winning run. A series of substitutions preceded Gatlin’s single.
In a game ultimately decided by the bullpens, starting pitchers Christian Trent and Ryan Moseley matched each other pitch-for-pitch over the first eight innings.
Trent continued his strong postseason, twirling eight scoreless innings, scattering six hits and striking out six against one walk. In three postseason starts, Trent has struck out a combined 19 batters and given up just two earned runs in 21 1/3 innings of work.
The left-hander was at his best when Texas Tech threatened. Tech had runners in scoring position in the first, second, fifth and sixth innings, but went 0-for-6 in opportunities to capitalize.
Moseley extending his run of scoreless baseball to 12 2/3 postseason innings before the Rebels plated its first run in the seventh. In 105 pitches, Moseley went a career-best 7 1/3 innings, allowing just four hits while walking three and striking out six. In two tournament starts, the freshman tossed 13 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run.
Moseley left the game trailing, 1-0, but as it did on Sunday, Texas Tech rallied late. Down to its final two outs, Adam Kirch singled to center off of Ole Miss reliever Scott Weathersby (4-1) before being replaced by pinch-runner Zach Davis. Davis, who entered the game 7-for-7 in stolen base attempts this year, proceeded to steal second and third on consecutive pitches, moving into scoring position for pinch- hitter Anthony Lyons.
Lyons, who helped the Red Raiders take a brief lead in its game against TCU on Sunday, lofted a sacrifice fly to right, bringing Davis across with the tying run.
In just the second game of the CWS in last 21 years to be scoreless through first six innings, Ole Miss broke the deadlock in the bottom of the seventh.
With one out, Sikes Orvis hit a grounder to the left of Texas Tech second baseman Bryant Burleson, with Burleson unable to cleanly field the ball. J.B. Woodman followed with a walk to put runners on second and first with one out.
After Will Jamison flied to center, Holt Perdzock was inserted as a pinch-hitter. The lefty went the other way on the first pitch he saw, slicing a grounder down the third base line past a diving Ryan Long. Orvis came around to score the first run of the game.
Texas Tech outhit both of its opponents, but scored just three total runs. In its NCAA Tournament run, the Red Raiders did not have more than four runs in a game.
Ole Miss advances to Thursday’s elimination game, where it will face either No. 3 Virginia or No. 7 TCU at 7 p.m. CDT.
Be sure to check out our other coverage from Ole Miss’s walk-off victory: