Omaha, Neb. • In a College World Series where hits have been few and far between for Mississippi, none was more timely than the one John Gatlin delivered Tuesday.
Gatlin’s pinch single into short right field over a pulled-in, five-man infield in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Rebels a 2-1 victory over Texas Tech in an elimination game. The exciting finish came after Texas Tech had tied it in the top of the ninth on a couple daring steals and a sacrifice fly.
College World Series
» Mississippi 2, Texas Tech 1 (Texas Tech eliminated)
» TCU (48-16) vs. Virginia (50-14), late
» Texas (44-20) vs. UC Irvine (41-24), 6 p.m., ESPN
"When the game is on the line like that, we’re each called upon in different situations and every one of us feels prepared for it and expects to get the job done," Gatlin said. "That just goes back to the toughness we’ve been preaching all year."
Ole Miss (47-20) plays TCU or Virginia on Thursday in another elimination game.
"In this ballpark everything just seems amplified — every pitch, every error, every walk, every base hit. You can feel it in this stadium because runs are such a premium here. To pull one out, to get the win column here in Omaha for the first time since 1969 is huge."
The Red Raiders (45-20) went 0-2 in their first CWS.
Ole Miss won after Colby Bortles walked with one out. Brantley Bell hit a comebacker to Cameron Smith, who tried to force out Bortles at second. But he threw high into center field, allowing Bortles to go to third.
Aaron Greenwood then pinch ran for Bortles, Dominic Moreno came on to face Gatlin and Texas Tech shifted an extra player to the left side of the infield and went with only two outfielders. Gatlin punched a 1-2 pitch over second base, Greenwood scored, and the celebration was on.
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