The slumbering Ole Miss offense awakened late, and now UL-Lafayette will have to wait a day to get a chance to return to the College World Series.
With its season on the line, Ole Miss scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat UL-Lafayette 5-2 in the second game of the Lafayette super regional.
The teams will play the deciding game of the best of three series on Monday at 6 p.m. in Lafayette.
UL-Lafayette starter Carson Baranik allowed a lead-off single to Ole Miss center fielder Auston Bousfield on a 1-1 pitch to start the bottom of the eighth. Baranik was replaced by left-hander Ryan Wilson. Wilson walked third baseman Austin Anderson. Allen hit a fly ball to deep center that was dropped by center fielder Seth Harrison, which allowed Bousfield to score. Colby Bortles entered the game as a pinch hitter and responded with a two-run single for the final runs.
It was a fitting end for the Rebels, who lost the series opener to UL-Lafayette 9-5 on Saturday, and were out for redemption and life on Sunday.
Ole Miss struck first when catcher Will Allen drove in one run with a two-out double to give the Rebels a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
But UL-Lafayette tied the score at 1 in the top of the fifith when center fielder Seth Harrison reached base on a two-out error by second baseman Preston Overbey and scored when right fielder Dylan Butler followed with a double down the left-field line.
Overbey later made up for his error when he hit a hanging breaking ball on a 1-2 pitch from Baranik over the left-field wall for a two-out solo home run to give the Rebels a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The home run by Overbey was the key blast in a pitcher's duel between former LSU players Baranik and Christian Trent. Trent pitched seven innings allowing one run on four hits with a season-high seven strikeouts. Baranik pitched seven innings plus, allowing two earned runs on six hits with four strikeouts and four walks.
UL-Lafayette catcher Mike Strentz led off the top of the eighth with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Leonards and scored on a two-out single to right by shortstop Blake Trahan to tie the score at 2.