RALEIGH, N.C. – Missed opportunities were the difference on Sunday as No. 23 Ole Miss (38-24) fell to William & Mary (39-23) by a score of 4-1 in an elimination game at the NCAA Regional hosted by N.C. State University.
With the loss, the Rebels end the 2013 season at the NCAA Regional after advancing to the post season for the 11th time in the last 13 seasons and 18th time in program history.
Sam Smith (3-1) took his first loss of the season, allowing four runs on seven hits with no walks or strikeouts.
Brett Koehler (7-5) picked up the win, working a complete-game and allowing the one unearned run on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts.
“Those were two good teams out there today, and William & Mary played better,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “They got all of the big hits today – especially the middle of their lineup. We didn’t get enough opportunities and when we did, we didn’t get the big hit. They did more with their few opportunities.
“It’s disappointing when it ends,” Bianco said. “We had four great seniors this year, including the one sitting next to me (Tanner Mathis). He got off to a tough start to the season, but really played well down the stretch. Andrew Mistone did the same for us. Brett Huber finished the season as the all-time saves leader at Ole Miss, while Tanner Bailey pitched well for us all year, including yesterday’s game here at the Regonal.”
William & Mary struck first on Sunday, using a pair of two-out doubles from Michael Katz and Ryan Lindemuth to push a run home and take the early lead on the Rebels. Ole Miss got out of the inning with a fly out in the next at bat, but the Tribe held the one-run lead after the first.
Ole Miss tied things up in the fourth, loading the bases with a single, a walk and a throwing error on a sac bunt before Austin Anderson would score on a double play ball to short from Preston Overbey. The Rebels got nothing else in the inning, as Will Jamison hit a fly ball to right that dropped in at the warning track to end the inning a batter later.
The Tribe answered immediately in the bottom half of the inning, using a hit batter and a single to right to put two men on. A sac bunt moved both runners into scoring position for Jackson Shaver, who singled up the middle to drive in both runners for the 3-1 lead.
A leadoff double in the bottom of the sixth sent the Rebels to the bullpen for left-hander Jeremy Massie.
The next batter singled through the left side, bringing the runner home and William & Mary took the 4-1 lead on the Rebels. Massie then got a strikeout and a double play ball to limit the inning and send things to the seventh.
Neither team would score down the stretch as the Tribe held on for the 4-1 win, keeping the Rebels off the board in the final three frames.