Mississippi escapes on an eighth-inning two-run homer

Updated: June 3, 2006, 11:06 PM ET
Associated Press

OXFORD, Miss. -- Chris Coghlan's tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning lifted Mississippi to a 9-7 victory over South Alabama on Saturday night and kept the Rebels unbeaten in the Oxford Regional.

The top-seeded Rebels (42-20) rallied from a four-run deficit and scored the final six runs.

Now, Ole Miss awaits the winner of Sunday's elimination game between the third-seeded Jaguars (39-20) and No. 2 seed Tulane _ and is one victory from reaching the super regionals for the second straight season.

Jon-Jon Hancock led off the eighth by reaching on third baseman David Freese's throwing error and was pulled for pinch runner Evan Button.

Two batters later, Coghlan crushed reliever Chase Christianson's 1-2 pitch over the right-center field fence for his fourth homer of the season, pumping his fist and clapping his hands as he rounded the bases.

South Alabama brought the go-ahead run to the plate with one out in the eighth, but closer Garrett White escaped after getting Patrick Weaver to pop out and Freese to ground out.

For the second straight day, the Rebels came from behind to win on a late homer. Ole Miss beat Bethune-Cookman 3-2 Friday night when Justin Brashear and Mark Wright hit back-to-back solo shots in the seventh.

This time, South Alabama led 7-3 in the sixth after Patrick Weaver's RBI single.

Ole Miss tied it with four runs in the seventh. Hancock hit a two-run homer off tiring starter Zach Piccola, Justin Henry scored on a wild pitch and C.J. Ketchum singled home the tying run with one out.

Winning pitcher Cody Satterwhite (11-2) allowed one run and three hits in two innings of relief of starter Brett Bukvich, who gave up six runs and 12 hits. White struck out two in two innings for his 10th save.

Coghlan's homer was the only hit allowed by Christianson (7-5), who struck out four in 2 2-3 innings.

Weaver drove in two runs for the Jaguars, who jumped on Bukvich early.

Tyler Jones led off the first with a triple down the line, then scored on Weaver's double to left.

Wright's two-run single in the second gave Ole Miss a 2-1 lead.

Aaron George homered to lead South Alabama. His three-run drive in the third snapped an 0-for-23 slump and put the Jaguars ahead 4-2.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press