College World Series: Ole Miss Stays Alive on John Gatlin Walkoff

College World Series

Credit: Steven Branscombe/Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

OMAHA, Neb. – Texas Tech was unable to capitalize with runners in scoring position early in the going and later paid the price for costly defensive miscues, as the Ole Miss Rebels grabbed the walkoff 2-1 victory on John Gatlin’s RBI single to claim Game 7 of the 2014 College World Series and send the Red Raiders packing as the second team eliminated in Omaha.

A pair of one out doubles from Bryant Burleson in the first and Ryan Long in the second (who would advance to third on a Devon Conley groundout) put runners in scoring position early for the Red Raiders, but both would end up stranded.

Conley opened the top of the fifth with a bunt single down the line toward third and followed with a swipe of second. Stephen Smith drew a walk off Christian Trent to put two aboard for Burleson, but the second baseman ended the potential threat by flying out to center. With two outs in the sixth, Adam Kirsch ripped a triple to deep right, but served as yet another Red Raider stranded in scoring position as Long struck out to end the inning.

As for the Rebels, the offense struggled to make sense of freshman right-hander Ryan Moseley, who got the starting nod over fellow freshman Dylan Dusek.

Moseley retired seven straight to open the game before Preston Overbey collected a double in the bottom of the third. With one out in the fourth, Austen Anderson singled up the middle and later advanced to second on a wild pitch by Moselely, but the Rebels failed to capitalize on the opportunity, as Will Allen and Sikes Orvis each grounded out to end the inning.

The Rebels followed in the sixth with a one out single from Braxton Lee, who advanced to second on Moseley’s second miscue of the game, this time a balk. Austin Bousfield followed with a walk, but Anderson grounded into the inning-ending 3-6-1 double play.

Nevertheless, it would be the Rebels that scored first in the contest. In the bottom of the seventh, Orvis scorched a hard grounder to Burleson at second, but the ball bounced sharply off his glove and into right field. J.B. Woodman followed with a walk to put two aboard for Will Jamison, who flied out to center for the innings second out.

But the hot-hitting bat of pinch-hitter Holt Perdzock followed Jamison with a sharp grounder that tailed just beyond the reach of Long’s glove at third, allowing Orvis to score from second to give Ole Miss the 1-0 lead.

While Moseley found trouble in the seventh, Trent was cruising along, registering back-to-back 1-2-3 innings in the seventh and eighth before deferring to Scott Weathersby in the ninth. All in all, the Ole Miss southpaw was dazzling, working eight scoreless innings of six-hit ball, fanning six and surrendering just a single free pass.

With Weathersby on the mound in the ninth, the Red Raiders made some noise, as a one out single by Kirsch got things going. Zach Davis relieved Kirsch on the base paths and proceeded to swipe both second and third with Anthony Lyons at the plate. Taking advantage, Lyons ripped a sac fly to right, but a diving Jamison was unable to get the throw off in time as Davis crossed the plate to tie the game at 1-1.

Cameron Smith came into the game in relief of Moseley in the bottom of the ninth, but a determined Ole Miss lineup and shaky Texas Tech defense defined the frame.

Colby Bortles drew a one out walk and later reached third on an errant throw into center from Smith on a Brantley Bell grounder. With runners on the corners, Dominic Moreno on the mound in relief of Smith, and the infield in, pinch-hitter John Gatlin laced a single into shallow right center to plate the game-winning run.

As such, Ole Miss lives to see another day and will face off against the loser of Tuesday evening’s matchup between TCU and Virginia on Thursday at 8:00 p.m.

About the Author

Josh Vadeboncoeur
Follow Josh on Twitter @vadeboncoeurCBC Josh is currently a student at the University of Florida pursuing a Master of Science degree in Sport Management. He’s an avid fan and scholar of the game, who although has a place in his heart for his Gators, is as objective as they come. Josh is a member of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, giving him official votes in the Dick Howser Trophy, Regional Players of the Year, and NCBWA All-America voting. Josh’s knowledge of the game of baseball ranges from the post-Civil War baseball boom to the current modern era, covering topics such as business and politics of the game to the minor leagues to negro league baseball and even international expansion. But most of all, a strong passion lies in his heart for college baseball.