In a pivotal series between two teams vying for wins they so desperately needed, it was the Rebels who rose to the occasion not the Tigers. After losing all three against the Rebels, the Tigers sit in dead last in the SEC and are in serious danger of missing the SEC Tournament.
Of the three games this weekend, Friday night was the only competitive game, but self-inflicted wounds ultimately buried the Tigers. Despite the ending, the Tigers got things going early, as Ross Lovich and Torin Montgomery each had a first inning RBI to give Tony Neubeck an early 2-0 lead. However, it wouldn’t last.
A balk and a fielding error doomed the Tigers in the bottom half of the first as Ole Miss plated three runs to take the lead right back from the Tigers. In the third, an error scored another run to extend the Rebel lead to 4-2.
Trailing heading to the middle innings, the Tigers needed a spark, and they got it from none other than Luke Mann. With the scoreboard reading 5-3 in the sixth, Mann launched a two-run home run that tied the game. But that was the final punch the Tigers would throw.
An Ole Miss run in sixth and seventh innings restored the two run Rebel lead, and the Tigers had no response. Ole Miss closer Brandon Johnson shut the Tigers out in the final two innings with four strikeouts to polish off the 7-5 victory.
On the bright side, Luke Mann still rakes:
439 feet of majestic, game-tying home run @super_MANN11 is flying again #MIZ | #C2E ⚾ pic.twitter.com/Pvr2QpuWeI— Mizzou Baseball (@MizzouBaseball) May 7, 2022
While Friday night went down to the wire, Saturday most certainly did not. The Tigers once again plated the first run thanks to another Torin Montgomery RBI in the first, but from there the Rebels ran away with it.
Five Rebels finished with a multi-hit game, and there 13 overall hits. Ole Miss plated eight runs, five of which were charged to Spencer Miles, who had a less than stellar day at the office despite eight strikeouts. While Miles struggled, Ole Miss starter Hunter Elliot was dialed in. Seven innings, four hits, one earned run, and nine strikeouts were more than enough to get the job done with the way the Ole Miss was hitting, and the Rebels won 8-1 to secure the series.
Perhaps the lone bright spot for the Tigers was that Trevor Austin extended his hit streak to 15 games in the first inning of this one.
What's new?@torinm14 with his 16th first-inning RBI this season #MIZ | #C2E ⚾ pic.twitter.com/RsOeoL76o4— Mizzou Baseball (@MizzouBaseball) May 7, 2022
After a blowout loss on Saturday, the Tigers needed to counter-punch on Sunday, but it seemed like the team did not get the memo. In the first four innings, the Rebels plated 10 runs, including two home runs off the bat of St. Louis native and Westminster Christian Academy alumnus Kevin Graham.
By the middle innings, the final score of the game was merely a formality as the outcome was clear; the Rebels were going to finish off the sweep. Justin Colon did hit a 2-run home run as a consolation prize for the Tigers, but they needed a few more to make things even remotely interesting in this one. After losing 8-1 just a night earlier, the Tigers fell 10-2 in this one.
The Tigers will now look to reset as they’re unlikely to make the SEC Tournament the way the standings currently look. One thing’s for sure; they’re happy to finally be out of Oxford.
Standout Performer of the Weekend
Perhaps the only hitter who decided to bring their swing to Oxford this weekend was Torin Montgomery. The first baseman was 6-13 with 2 RBI in the series, including a 3-hit performance on Friday night. Montgomery has been one of the Tigers’ most consistent performers all year, hitting .344 this season, and this weekend was no different.
T1 | @torinm14 and those 1st inning RBI #MIZ | #C2E ⚾ pic.twitter.com/hfI0HpRbEQ— Mizzou Baseball (@MizzouBaseball) May 6, 2022