Game of Throws

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 11, 2014

LAFAYETTE, La. — The drought is over.

For the first time in 42 years, Ole Miss has earned a berth in the College World Series.

Pinch-hitter Holt Perdzock’s double in the ninth inning sparked a four-run rally and the Rebels punched their ticket to Omaha with a 10-4 win over homestanding Louisiana-Lafayette in the third and deciding game of the Lafayette Super Regional on Monday night.

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“The road to Omaha is bumpy and windy,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “When you go, you have to have a special group. This group is certainly all of that.”

Bianco acknowledged that his team was fortunate to win against Ragin’ Cajuns, who had 10 hits to nine for the Rebels.

“When you look at the box score, they out-hit us and we had four errors,” Bianco said.” You don’t usually win those games. It was one of those nights where we made the most of our opportunities.”

Picayune’s Braxton Lee, the Rebels’ lead-off hitter and leftfielder, drove in a run with a key sacrifice fly and scored two runs and stole a base in the win. He also recorded a huge defensive assist when his throw from left to shortstop Errol Robinson was then relayed to home to cut down a Ragin’ Cajun runner and preserve a 5-4 Ole Miss lead in the sixth inning.

Ole Miss catcher Will Allen had been in a similar situation Sunday, when he dropped the ball and allowed the run to score. Allen said he had a little more time to make the play Monday.

“That was a huge momentum swing for us,” Allen said. “We pumped up about that because we preserved the lead and Josh Laxer was shutdown from then.”

A throwing error on Perdzock’s two-run double allowed another run to score and J.B. Woodman’s sacrifice fly scored Perdzock to complete the Rebels’ rally in the ninth.

Austin Anderson and Sikes Orvis homered in the Rebels’ three-run fourth.

ULL (58-10) lost back-to-back games for the first time all season. Scott Weathersby (3-1) pitched two scoreless innings for Ole Miss (46-19) and Josh Laxer picked up his sixth save, allowing only an unearned run in 3 1-3 innings.

“I’ve been prepared to come out there in a close game,” Laxer said. “Coach B just preaches about filling up the strike zone. That’s what I did.”

And that’s why the Rebels are going to the CWS for the first time since 1972.

They play Virginia on Sunday night n the first game. Texas Tech and Texas Christian are also in the Ole Miss bracket.