Ole Miss baseball

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Rebels advance to Super Regional

The Rebels claimed the 2007 NCAA Oxford Regional in an offensive slugfest on Sunday as No. 19 Ole Miss (40-23) pounded out a season-high 22 hits and 21 runs to defeat Sam Houston State (39-24) by a score of 21-13.

Ole Miss will travel to Tempe, Ariz. To take on Arizona State this  weekend Saturday through Monday.

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The win marked the third-straight NCAA Regional Championship for the Rebels as Ole Miss secured its third consecutive 40-win season. Ole Miss will also advance to an NCAA Super Regional for the third-straight year as the Rebels will face either Arizona State or Nebraska next weekend.

Alex Kliman led the offensive outburst for the Rebels as the junior catcher went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and five RBI. Justin Henry also went 4-for-5 at the plate with three runs scored and an RBI. Six Rebels recorded multiple-hits on the night.

Craig Rodriguez (2-2) picked up the win in relief for the Rebels, entering the game in the fourth inning and trailing by a run. He worked 3.1 innings, allowing one run on two hits with two strikeouts. Scott Bittle drew the start, working 3.2 innings as he gave up eight runs on eight hits with two walks and a strikeout.

Jim Bob Farris (0-1) took the loss for the Bearkats as he gave up six runs, four earned, on four hits and a walk. He did not record an out during his time on the mound.

Sam Houston State was opportunistic early, taking advantage of a pair of a hit an error and a walk to load the bases before Austin Boggs came up with a sac fly to right field to push across a run. A second run came across on a fielding error at short on a pop up that would have ended the inning. Sam Houston State then pushed a third run across on a sharp single to second to take a 3-0 lead after the top of the first.

 Ole Miss got a run back in the bottom half of the frame as he came up with a two-out RBI single up the middle to drive in Justin Henry from second and move Overbeck to third. Cozart advanced to second on the throw to third in an attempt to get Overbeck at the bag. A walk of Logan Power then loaded the bases before a walk of Button pushed a second run across and kept the bags loaded with Rebels. Cullan Kight then singled up the middle to score two runs and move Button to third as the Rebels took a 4-3 lead.

With runners at the corners, Kliman came up with a double to the wall in straight-away center to push the Rebel lead to 6-3 and force a Bearkat pitching change. Jordan Henry then singled to center, but the centerfielder made the throw to the plate from the outfield, catching Kliman at the plate for the final out of the inning.

Miller homered to open the second inning and extend the Rebel lead to 7-3.

The Bearkats answered in the fourth inning as Sam Houston State used five hits, including a three-run home run, to regain the lead 8-7 and force Ole Miss to go to its bullpen. Rodriguez entered the game with two outs and a runner on second and recorded strikeout to end the inning.

The Rebels responded in the bottom half of the inning as Ole Miss pushed nine runs across, taking advantage of six hits and three errors to push back out to a 16-8 lead.

Ole Miss pushed two more across in the fifth inning to take the lead out to 10 runs as the Rebels claimed an 18-8 lead on the Bearkats.

Austin Boggs notched a sac fly to right field in the sixth to get Sam Houston a ninth run as Stein crossed the plate from third. Stein singled to open the inning before moving to third on a single and then a groundout to the pitcher.

Ole Miss answered with a single run in the seventh and a pair of runs in the eighth to push the lead out to 21-9 before Sam Houston State scratched out another run in the eight. The Rebels led 21-10 after the eighth.

Sam Houston State wasn’t done putting together a quick rally in the ninth, notching three runs on four-straight hits off Cody Satterwhite, but the sophomore right-hander settled down and struck out the next three batters to end the game and bring the Rebels the Regional Championship.

 The Rebels placed five players on the All-Region team as Kliman (C), Zach Miller (2B), Jordan Henry (OF), Justin Henry (OF) and Lance Lynn (SP) were all selected to the team. Lynn was also named Regional Most Valuable Player for his complete-game shutout of second-seeded Southern Miss.