April 6, 2003
Knoxville, Tenn. - Ole Miss scored five runs in the seventh inning as the Rebels rallied from an 8-4 deficit to defeat the Tennessee Volunteers, 9-8, and win the series two games to one. The contest was delayed an hour and 34 minutes due to rain in the top of the first.
Ole Miss (20-11, 7-5 SEC) chased starter Luke Hochevar in the decisive frame as the Rebels loaded the bases on a single, a fielders choice and a walk before Stephen Head, who drove in a game-high four runs, laced a double down the left field line to start the rally and cut the lead to 8-6.
Beau Massey (1-2) then replaced Hochevar and gave up a walk to the only batter he faced in Charlie Babineaux to load the bases. Brandon Crowe came on in relief, giving up the tying run on a sacrifice fly and throwing error by third baseman Michael Rivera on the play. Babineaux would score the go ahead run on balk by Crowe and give Massey the loss.
With the Rebels leading 3-0, the Tennessee (18-13, 5-7 SEC) took the lead in the fourth by scoring six runs on five hits while being aided by two Ole Miss errors. The Vols sent nine men to the plate, scoring the first run on an error before Chad LeGate singled up the middle tying the game 3-3. Justin Branson then had an RBI double before scoring on a sacrifice bunt to make it 6-3.
The teams traded runs in the fifth when Jonathan Swearingen, who went 3-for-5, led off the inning with his third home run of the season, only to see LeGate collect his third RBI of the day with a double to center to make it 7-4. Tennessee extended its lead to 8-4 in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Rivera.
Ole Miss took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-run single by Head and added another run on Barry Gunther's first home run of the season in the fourth.
Anthony Cupps (3-0) earned the win in 4 1/3 innings of relief, before giving it up to Jeremy Zick in the eighth who left with the tying run on first in the ninth. The Rebels turned the game over the Head who retired the final three hitters for his seventh save and second in as many games.
Chad Sterbens added three hits for the Rebels who pounded out 15. Javi Herrera led the Vols with three hits, including two doubles.
Tennessee takes on Tennessee Wesleyan Wednesday at 7 p.m.