OMAHA — Pinch-hitter John Gatlin's single into short right field over a pulled-in, five-man infield in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Mississippi a 2-1 victory over Texas Tech in a College World Series elimination game Tuesday.
Texas Tech had tied it in the top of the ninth on a couple of daring steals and a sacrifice fly.
Ole Miss (47-20) plays Texas Christian or Virginia on Thursday in another elimination game. 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 Bortles at second. But he threw high into center field, allowing Bortles to go to third.
Aaron Greenwood then 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.
Scott Weathersby (4-4) got the win for an inning of relief of left-hander Christian Trent, who gave up six hits, walked one and struck out six in eight innings.
Smith (8-3), the fourth of five Texas Tech pitchers, took the loss after working a third of an inning. Tech starter Ryan Moseley had pitched 71/3 strong innings.
Tech tied it 1-1 in the top of the ninth. Adam Kirsch singled with one out, and Zach Davis entered as a pinch-runner. With pinch-hitter Anthony Lyons at the plate, Davis stole second and third. Lyons then lofted a sacrifice fly to right to bring in Davis.
Ole Miss broke a scoreless tie in the seventh in what, up to then, had been another frustrating offensive day. The Rebels had entered the CWS with a .303 batting average that was best among the eight teams in Omaha. But they managed only one hit in their 2-1 loss to Virginia on Sunday and were four for 49 (.082) in the CWS when Holt Perdzock stepped in against Ryan Moseley.
Perdzock, who drove in the Rebels' only run against Virginia on a groundout, sent Moseley's first pitch down the third-base line between the bag and Ryan Long's glove. That allowed Sikes Orvis, who had reached on an error, to score from second.
Ole Miss is 13-9 in one-run games this season, including 2-1 in the NCAA tournament.
Texas Tech was one for 14 with runners in scoring position in two CWS games, including 0 for 6 on Tuesday.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times