May 21, 2009


CBI Live
Co-champ Ole Miss is first casualty
in SEC tourney


By Jimmy Jones

Special to 


HOOVER, Ala. - Who would have thought it? The Ole Miss Rebels, co-winners of the SEC regular-season championship and loaded with three All-Conference players, became the first team eliminated on Thursday as they came up on the short end of a 12-2 pounding by Florida in a game ended by the mercy rule after eight innings.
It was only the Gators’ fourth win in 10 attempts against the Rebels in the SEC Tournament and gave Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan the first postseason win in his career.
Both teams scored in their first at-bats. The Gators (36-20) took a brief 1-0 lead on a home run by Jonathan Pigott on the first pitch he saw from Rebel starter Brett Bukvich (right) with one out.
Mississippi's Jordan Henry led off with a single and promptly stole second. A Logan Power grounder moved him over and he scored on another productive out when Kyle Henson grounded out to third baseman Brandon McArthur.
The Rebels (40-16) took their only lead in the game in the second on an RBI base hit by David Phillips to make the score 2-1.
It was all Florida from that point on as the combination of freshman starter Anthony DeSclanfani and reliever Patrick Keating held the Rebels to just three hits the rest of the way.
After a solo homer by SEC Co-Freshman of the Year Preston Tucker, Florida posted three runs in the fifth aided by an Ole Miss error on a failed pick-off attempt.
The Gators continued to pound Rebel pitching with three more in the sixth with a Pigott three-run home run as the impetuous after he got the benefit of a close call on a pitch with two strikes.
Preston Tucker recorded his 21st multi-hit game of the season with a three hit, three RBI performance to lead the Gators. Pigott (left) had two hits and four RBI to add to the cause.

Florida tacked on two runs in the seventh and eighth innings to close the game out and advance to play the loser of the Arkansas vs. Georgia game on Friday at 3 p.m. 

(photos by Jimmy Jones)