Photo courtesy of Alabama Athletics

The Crimson Tide suffered a 5-4 loss on Saturday, as a ninth-inning, solo home run to left by Ole Miss helped the Rebels walk it off against Alabama. Following today’s matchup, the Tide sits at 13-18 overall and 2-9 in conference play.

Alabama scored one run apiece in the second, third, fourth and sixth innings, but Ole Miss tallied one in the fourth and put up a three-spot in the sixth to even things up at 4-4. The two teams would remain scoreless until the bottom of the ninth when a walkoff home run from Tate Blackman ended the game in favor of the Rebels.

The Crimson Tide jumped ahead first, scoring one in the top of the second. With two down and none on, Chandler Taylor sent the first pitch he saw deep to right for his team-leading eighth home run of the season to make it a 1-0 game. The Tide added one more in the top of the third, using a bases-loaded single from Cody Henry to score the game’s second run and push the UA advantage to 2-0.

Alabama took a 3-0 lead after adding one in the top of the fourth. Stepping in with one out, Connor Short guided a 2-2 pitch deep to left for a solo home run, his third of the season. Ole Miss came right back in the bottom half of the inning to score their first run of the game. A one-out walk and single put two on before a passed ball moved both Rebel runners into scoring position. The next at-bat resulted in a 4-3 putout, but the man from third scored on the play to make it a 3-1 game in favor of the Tide after four full innings of play.

The Tide lead moved back to three runs thanks to a solo tally in the top of the sixth. Alabama’s run-scoring sequence began with a one-out double off the warning track in right-center from Taylor for his second extra-base hit of the afternoon. After an Ole Miss call to the bullpen, a wild pitch moved Taylor to third. With Short in the box, the Crimson Tide employed the suicide squeeze, sending Taylor home on the bunt and crossing him with ease on the play to make it a 4-1 game.

A single and a pair of sacrifice flies would tie the game up for Ole Miss in the home half of the sixth. A hit-by-pitch and a double put a pair of runners on before a single to center by the Rebels scored one run and ended Alabama starter Nick Eicholtz’ day. The Tide pitching change came with no outs and two on before a walk loaded the bases for Ole Miss. Back-to-back sacrifice flies in the next two at-bats recorded the first two outs of the inning, but evened things up at 4-4. The final out came by way of the strikeout for Alabama, but the damage was done. Eicholtz’ final line closed out at 5.0-plus innings, giving up five hits and walking four resulting in four runs to not factor him into the decision.

After things were tied up in the sixth, Alabama had bases loaded with one out in the seventh but could not push the go-ahead run across. In the eighth, the Tide got a man to third with two down but stranded the runner 90 feet away. With one down in the ninth, Blackman sent the 1-1 pitch from Garrett Suchey (1-4) over the wall in left to walk it off for Ole Miss and help the Rebels secure the series victory.

Alabama and Ole Miss return to the diamond at 3 p.m. CT tomorrow afternoon for the series finale. The Crimson Tide has not determined a starter while the Rebels will look to freshman left-hander Ryan Rolison. The Sunday matchup can be seen nationally on SEC Network with the tandem of Mike Morgan and Ben McDonald calling all the action.