OMAHA, Neb. – When they got to the TD Ameritrade Park Thursday afternoon, Ole Miss first baseman Sikes Orvis excitedly turned to roommate Will Allen and told him to look at the flags in centerfield.
Instead of furiously blowing in as they have been for nearly the entire 2014 College World Series, the flags were lazily blowing out. Orvis and Allen took advantage against TCU leading the Rebels to a 6-4 victory to survive another elimination game — Ole Miss’ fourth elimination game in just over two weeks.
“It’s just something with this team when our back’s up against the wall, we play really good baseball,” Allen said. “It’s just kind of been
something that the team has really taken to, just the mindset of 1 through 9 throughout the lineup. We have guys that can step up and really be the hero on any given day.”
Orvis and Allen combined for six hits and five RBI. Allen, who was forced to DH due to a shoulder injury, drove in a pair with a two-run double in a three-run third inning that gave Ole Miss an early cushion.
But the Horned Frogs chased Rebels starter Sam Smith in the fourth inning, scoring three runs with the assistance of four walks in the frame. With the bases loaded, Derek Odell nearly put TCU ahead when he hit a ball deep to right-centerfield, but J.B. Woodman ran it down on the warning track to end the inning before bouncing off the wall.
The game went back and forth with both teams scoring a run in the fifth inning before Allen’s RBI single up the middle in the seventh inning put the Rebels ahead for good.
Orvis added a big insurance run in the ninth inning with a double down the left field line that landed mostly in foul territory, but nicked a tiny bit of chalk as well.
The Ole Miss bullpen combined to allow only one hit in 5.2 innings. Freshman lefty Wyatt Short picked up the win in relief, pitching 1.2 innings without allowing a hit. He did walk two batters, but he struck out three. Aaron Greenwood picked up a four-out save without allowing a baserunner.
The only hit the Rebels pen allowed was the first pitch of the fifth inning when Kevin Cron hulk smashed one out to left field for the second home run of the 2014 College World Series.
“At the time, it was a big part of the game just to get that run back,” Cron said. “But it’s somewhat bittersweet obviously.”
Cron finished with two hits and two runs while Boomer White was 2-for-3 with a walk, a run and an RBI double.
The Rebels advance to a Friday evening rematch with Virginia. Ole Miss will have to beat the Cavaliers on Friday to force a winner-take-all bracket championship on Saturday.
TCU‘s season is over. The Horned Frogs finish 48-18 on the year after starting the year 15-12. They won the Fort Worth Regional and Fort Worth Super Regional and were one of three Texas schools to advance to the College World Series.
Here’s CBD photographer Shotgun Spratling‘s top shots from the 2014 College World Series Thursday night matchup at TD Ameritrade Park:
Be sure to check out our other coverage from the Rebels’ win to stay alive: