Ole Miss scored four runs in the eighth inning to pull away from TCU and took the opening game 6-2 at the NCAA Regional at Blue Bell Park in College Station.
The Horned Frogs (36-20) will have their backs against the wall in an elimination game Saturday. TCU plays the loser between Texas A&M/Dayton at 12:35 p.m. Saturday.
The Rebels' (36-24) Auston Bousfield worked a bases-loaded walk against Kevin Allen to give Ole Miss a 3-2 lead with one out in the eighth. Mississippi started the inning with a walk and single off Brandon Finnegan, who was pulled for Allen. Allen struck out the first batter he faced but loaded the bases with a hit batter. Sikes Orvis’ two-run single up the middle made it 5-2 and an error by second baseman Derek Odell allowed another run to score.
Preston Morrison held the Rebels to two runs on six hits and worked into the seventh inning. Alex Yarbrough’s triple scored the Rebels’ first run in the sixth. Yarbrough scored on a ground out to tie it at 2-2 in the inning. The Rebels threatened again in the seventh after a walk and Will Allen double put runners on second and third with one out. But the Frogs got a break after Justin Scharf replaced Morrison on the mound. Will Allen was caught in a run down on a squeeze bunt attempt. Andrew Mistone missed on the pitch and TCU catcher Josh Elander started the run down with a throw to third baseman Jantzen Witte. Allen moved up to third base on the play but Scharf forced a groundout to end the inning.
Ole Miss starting pitcher Bobby Wahl struck out nine in seven innings. The Frogs led 1-0 after Kyle Von Tungeln and Josh Elander started the first inning with singles. Von Tungeln scored on Kevin Cron’s groundout to first. Cron put TCU up 2-0 with a solo home run in the fourth. Wahl held the Frogs to four hits in seven innings. He retired nine of 10 batters from the fifth through the seventh. Jerrick Suiter reached base after being hit by a pitch in the seventh. Suiter stole second base but Brett Johnson struck out and Brance Rivera fouled out to third.
Morrison struck out five and held Ole Miss to six hits in 6 1/3 innings.