In the last three games this week, Ole Miss has found themselves in situations where they had to rally from behind to win the ball game. Friday night’s game was no different as the Rebels had another walk-off single.
Senior John Gatlin delivered the game winning RBI single to give Ole Miss (9-1) the 4-3 win in the bottom of the thirteenth inning over the Central Florida Knights.
“I saw a lot of off speed pitches and I was thinking the whole time just shot it to right field it’s not where it went, but got done,” Gatlin said.
Ole Miss baseball coach Mike Bianco on Gatlin’s performance at the plate:
“A guy that has battled back from injury also a five-year senior that comes off the bench and is just the ultimate team guy and no their body better to win the for ya then John Gatlin,” Bianco said.
The Rebels started the bottom of the thirteenth inning off with a hit-by-pitch to Will Allen and Kyle Toth came into run for him. Toth would then find his way to second base as Preston Overbey laid down a sacrifice bunt. Three batters later with runners on the corners Gatlin steps up and delivers the game-winning hit to third.
Ole Miss and Central Florida were dead locked in a pitchers duel for the first two and a half innings of the game with neither team having a hit until Allen doubles to right field in the bottom of the fifth inning for the Rebels first hit of the game.
The Knights would pick up their first run of the game in the top of the fourth inning as Derrick Salberg gets on board by an error on second baseman Preston Overbey. Salberg would later come into score after a walk and a sac bunt moved him to third base. UCF’s batter Erik Barber would hit a long fly ball that plated Salberg.
Allen’s double allowed Ole Miss to tie the game up as Sikes Orvis drove him in with an RBI ground out to the second baseman.
In the sixth and seventh innings, neither team could get a run on the board as both pitchers bared down and pitched very well.
Ole Miss’ starter, Chris Ellis, went a total seven innings only allowing one run on a hit. The Knight batters drew four walks and went down swinging five times against Ellis.
Then in the eighth inning coach Mike Bianco calls on the right-handed arm of Aaron Greenwood to relieve Chris Ellis. UCF was able to get their last two runs of the game in the eighth inning off two base hits on Greenwood.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Rebels tied the game back at three apiece as J.B. Woodman started the inning of with a single to right with one out. Errol Robinson would follow with a double to right to bring in Cameron Dishon who was pinching running for Woodman. Robinson then tied the game up when Auston Bousfield got on first by a base hit to third base.
Neither team could plate a run in the ninth, though both teams had men on base.
Coach Bianco was ejected in the game in the top of the tenth inning after a discussion with the umpire.
As a club, Ole Miss strung together a total of 14 hits in the game.
During the game, Bianco also called on the arms of Wyatt Short, Preston Tarkington, Josh Laxer and Cheyne Bickel out of the bullpen.
Bickel picked up his second career win as an Ole Miss Rebel on the season.
The starter for UCF, Eric Skoglund, worked 7.2 innings giving up three runs on six hits not allowing any Rebels to walk and two strikeouts.
Game two in this series will be Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.
–Adam Brown, Sports Editor HottyToddy.com
Rebels Take Game One from UCF in Extra Innings
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