OMAHA, Neb. – Ole Miss found its offense just in time at the College World Series. Pounding 11 hits, the Rebels eliminated TCU, 6-4, at TD Ameritrade Park.
Ole Miss (48-20) entered Thursday hitting .105 in the College World Series, but it took just four innings for the Rebels to match their hit total over their first two games. Will Allen and Sikes Orvis combined to go 6-for-10 with five RBI, while Auston Bousfield scored three runs.
In what turned into a battle of bullpens, Josh Laxer, Wyatt Short and Aaron Greenwood allowed just one TCU (48-18) hit and one run across 5 2/3 innings of work, striking out six total.
Tied 4-4 through six innings, the first three Ole Miss batters of the seventh reached against Jordan Kipper (8-3), putting the Rebels out front for the third time in the game. Bousfield was hit by a pitch before Austin Anderson went the other way on a 1-2 offering, lofting a single to left. Allen, serving as the designated hitter, grounded a ball to center, allowing Bousfield to cross home for the third time in the game.
TCU’s best chance to tie the game for a third time on the night came in the eighth, as the Horned Frogs put Jerrick Suiter on second base after a walk and a sacrifice. After an intentional walk to Boomer White, Short struck out Dylan Fitzgerald before Greenwood relieved.
A double steal put both runners in scoring position, but Keaton Jones hit a chopper over the mound. Freshman shortstop Errol Robinson charged, fielded the ball just ahead of the short hop, and fired to first to end the TCU threat.
Ole Miss added a key insurance run in the ninth. Allen, a Johnny Bench Award finalist, stroked his third hit of the night with two outs, and Orvis lofted a fly ball into the left field corner, just catching chalk and bringing Allen around on the double.
Greenwood retired the Horned Frogs in order in the ninth, handing TCU back-to-back losses for the first time since March 29-30.
Ole Miss struck first in the top of the third. J.B. Woodman led off with a fly to center that Cody Jones initially overran, with the ball dropping in front of a diving Jones for a double. A sacrifice put Woodman on third and Brandon Lee lined an 0-1 pitch up the middle to give the Rebels a 1-0 lead.
Bousfield was hit by a pitch, and with two outs, Allen drilled a ball to the right-center gap, bringing Lee and Bousfield home and building an early 3-0 edge.
Through 10 games at the 2014 College World Series, the team scoring first is 9-1.
TCU, which shook up its batting order for the first time in nearly two months, responded in the fourth. Kevin Cron began the frame with a line drive single ahead of Garrett Crain’s walk. After a fielder’s choice left runners at the corners, Boomer White pulled a double down the left field line, easily scoring Cron.
Consecutive walks to Fitzgerald and Keaton Jones brought home TCU’s second run of the inning and prompted Ole Miss to tap Laxer from its bullpen with the bases loaded.
Laxer came on for Sam Smith and struck out Kyle Bacak, but issued a walk to Cody Jones, allowing White to cross with the tying run. Odell drove a 1-2 offering from Laxer to the warning track, but Woodman made the catch to prevent further damage.
Ole Miss promptly retook the lead in the fifth. With two on and two out, Orvis singled to right, and Bousfield easily beat Fitzgerald’s throw to put the Rebels up, 4-3.
TCU tied the game on the first pitch of the bottom half of the fifth as Cron launched his sixth homer of the season to left center.
Neither starter lasted past the fourth inning. Laxer (3-2) collected the win, allowing one run in 2 2/3 innings of relief.
The crowd of 25,783 was the largest of the 2014 College World Series and tenth largest crowd in the four years the CWS has been contested at TD Ameritrade Park. Seven of 10 games at the CWS have been decided in the seventh inning or later.
Ole Miss won its second consecutive elimination game at the CWS, moving to 4-0 in elimination games during the NCAA Tournament. The Rebels will face No. 3 national seed Virginia on Friday at 7 p.m. CDT. The Cavaliers defeated the Rebels, 2-1, in walk-off fashion, on Sunday. Ole Miss will need two wins to reach the championship series.
Be sure to check out our other coverage from the Rebels’ win to stay alive: