Gators fall to Rebels in series opener
Published: Friday, March 29, 2013 at 10:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, March 29, 2013 at 9:34 p.m.
The Ole Miss Rebels scored the game-winning run in the top of the 11th inning on a throwing error by Florida closer Johnny Magliozzi to hand UF a 4-3 SEC defeat Friday night at McKethan Stadium before a crowd of 3,959.
Mississippi (23-4, 4-3) at Florida (11-16, 2-5), Saturday, 1 p.m.
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The loss was the fourth in a row for the Gators (11-16, 2-5) and their third straight by one run, while the 11th-ranked Rebels improved to 23-4, 4-3.
“It's really frustrating,” said sophomore Justin Shafer, who went 3-for-5 to pace a 10-hit Gator attack. “Our pitchers kept us in the game. We had plenty of chances to get the winning run, and we didn't come through.”
Former Buchholz High School standout Will Allen, the Ole Miss designated hitter, ripped a lead-off double in the 11th off Magliozzi, who had retired the first five batters he faced.
Allen was replaced by pinch runner Lance Wilson, and Will Jamison followed with a sacrifice bunt attempt. Magliozzi charged the ball and tried to get the lead runner at third, but his throw was a little wide and glanced off the glove of third baseman Zack Powers, rolling into short left field and allowing Wilson to score the go-ahead run.
The Gators lost despite getting the lead-off man on base in each of the last three innings.
“We've just got to get a big at-bat when we need it,” UF coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. “It's as simple as that.”
Ole Miss took a quick 1-0 lead, scoring in the top of the first when Tanner Mathis led off the game with a double to left center and, following a sacrifice bunt that moved him to third, scored on Austin Anderson's sacrifice fly.
The Rebels added a gift run in the top of the fourth when Jamison drew a one-out walk, stole second on a swinging third strike by Preston Overbey and then raced all the way home on a wild pitch.
The Gators finally got to Ole Miss starter Bobby Wahl, a junior right-hander who came into the game leading the nation with a 6-0 record and sporting a 1.67 ERA, in their half of the fourth.
Shafer started things with a lead-off double and went to third on a wild pitch.
Following a walk to Powers, senior Vickash Ramjit's sac fly to center plated Shafer with UF's first run, and after Connor Mitchell singled and Josh Tobias reached on an error, Dent delivered a sac fly to right to score Powers and knot the score at 2-all.
Carmichael, however, was not able to take advantage, giving up a lead-off single to the Rebels' Anderson and then walking clean-up batter Stuart Turner, who came in hitting an SEC-leading .460.
After retiring Andrew Mistone on a sac bunt that moved both runners up, Carmichael was replaced by junior left-hander Daniel Gibson, whose first pitch was hit for a sac fly to left by Sikes Orvis to put Ole Miss back on top, 3-2.
UF was able to tie things up in the home half of the eighth on Powers' one-out RBI single, but missed a chance to take the lead when Ole Miss reliever Matt Denny got Tobias to fly out to right with the bases loaded and two outs.
Gibson was stellar in relief, throwing a career-high four innings of two-hit, shutout ball to keep the Gators within striking distance.
Aaron Greenwood (3-0), the fourth of five Ole Miss hurlers, picked up the win while Magliozzi (2-1) took the loss.
Game two of the series is Saturday at 1 p.m.