Ole Miss

Tulane bounces Ole Miss from Oxford Regional

BRUCE NEWMAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS 
 Ole Miss' Errol Robinson (6) watches after the Rebels' 6-5 loss to Tulane in an NCAA regional college baseball tournament game at Oxford-University Stadium Saturday. Ole Miss went two and out.
BRUCE NEWMAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS Ole Miss' Errol Robinson (6) watches after the Rebels' 6-5 loss to Tulane in an NCAA regional college baseball tournament game at Oxford-University Stadium Saturday. Ole Miss went two and out. AP

OXFORD - On a day where baseballs flew out of Swayze Field it seemed fitting that a home run would decide things.

Unfortunately for Ole Miss, it wasn't the Rebels' home run.

Tulane catcher Jake Rogers turned on a Will Stokes slider and drove it over the left field wall, a two-run shot that rallied the No. 2 seed Green Wave to a 6-5 win before 9,467 fans Saturday.

No. 1 seed Ole Miss failed to advance from a home regional for the second time in seven such events under coach Mike Bianco. The Rebels end the season at 43-19.

Ole Miss also went two-and-out in 2004, the first time it hosted. Tulane won that regional too. Now the Green Wave (40-20) advances to face the Boston College-Utah winner Sunday.

Ole Miss hit .314 in its SEC tournament run but just .222 in its regional.

"In other regional losses you could look back and say, 'We were flat,' for whatever reason, but in these two games our guys played their hearts out. I'm just so proud of this team, a year where I don't think many expected this, to be playing in June in Oxford," Bianco said.

Stokes and the Rebels hit a couple of pitches earlier when Rogers drove one out in left, but was foul by a few feet.

"He'd thrown me a fastball in, and I turned on it pretty well. I knew he relied on his breaking stuff, and he kind of hung one," Rogers said.

Rogers' shot was his seventh of the year and the fifth of the game. Every other one was a solo shot.

Tulane's Hunter Williams had two on his own as part of a three-hit game. He wasn't retired until the eighth when Stokes got a swinging strikeout.

The Green Wave has 63 home runs on the season. It had 49 in the previous three seasons combined.

Kyle Watson had his second home run in two days, and Colby Bortles had one for Ole Miss, both in the fifth inning.

Watson's home run would not have been a solo shot had Holt Perdzock not attempted to take second base when a high pop fly was lost in the sun in the previous at-bat. The ball didn't move far enough away from the second baseman, and the play at the bag was not close.

With long balls the theme it was Errol Robinson's two-run single in the seventh that was the difference until Rogers lifted the Wave.

The Tulane comeback continued bullpen struggles for the Rebels. The Rebels had hung their hats on relief pitching most of the season but lost leads in the middle and late innings in their last three games, losses to Texas A&M, Utah and Tulane. The Rebels also went through several pitchers before holding on to win 12-9 against Vanderbilt in the SEC quarterfinals.

"I feel like we still swung it well," Bortles said. "We had some guys on base where we didn't come through in the last two games. That was the main thing."

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