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Late Bama rally costs Rebels

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Zach Miller hit a two-run home run and drove in three runs on the afternoon, but a late rally cost the Rebels as No. 14 Ole Miss (36-17, 16-11 SEC) fell to Alabama (31-21, 12-15 SEC) by a score of 6-3 on Sunday.

David Goforth (1-4) suffered the loss as he gave up four runs on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts in a career-long 6.1 innings of work.

Nathan Kilcrease (5-2) picked up the win as he worked a complete-game against the Rebels and allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

“It was a tough weekend,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “It’s disappointing to not play better and fall on the wrong side of the scoreboard twice. We have got to do more to win games. We have to score more and we have to pitch better. It’s not about putting yourself in a position to win games. You have to win.”

Ole Miss struck first, pushing two runs across the plate in the fourth inning with a towering home run from Zach Miller that scored Tim Ferguson. Ferguson singled to third before stealing second during Miller’s at bat. Miller then took a 1-2 pitch and sent it out of the park in left field to give the Rebels the 2-0 lead.

Alabama responded in the bottom half of the inning, using a Ross Wilson single and a Clay Jones double to push a run across and cut the lead in half at 2-1. A groundout to short put Jones at third before a sac fly to left from Jon Kelton drove him in and tied the game at two.

Ole Miss moved back into the lead in the seventh when Tim Ferguson scored on a groundout from Miller. Ferguson singled to center and moved to third on a fielding error as the ball got past the Crimson Tide fielder, allowing him to advance. Ferguson then crossed the plate on the Miller groundout to give Ole Miss the 3-2 advantage.

Alabama then tied things up in the bottom half of the frame after Brett Booth sparked a rally with a triple off the wall with one out. A double down the line into right scored Booth and evened the game at three as Ole Miss turned to Eric Callender out of the bullpen. A wild pitch moved Miller to third base before a walk and a steal by Dugas put two men in scoring position with two outs. Josh Rutledge then singled to second and a throwing error allowed two runs to score.

A stolen base and a single up the middle later, the Rebels trailed 6-3 and Ole Miss again turned to its bullpen for Trent Rothlin. Rothlin got a fly out to right field to end the inning with Alabama holding to the three-run lead.

Ole Miss could not muster another rally in the final two frames as Alabama claimed the series with a 6-3 win.

The Rebels will close out the regular season with a three-game series against the Auburn Tigers this week at home at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field. The first game of the three-game series is set for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday night. Friday’s game will begin at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday’s regular-season finale will begin at 4 p.m.

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