COLUMBIA, S.C. (Ole Miss Athletics/WTVA) - After two off games to start the series at South Carolina, No. 3 Ole Miss went back to its winning formula in Game 3, following four home runs and an outstanding performance in relief by Parker Caracci to steal a 6-5 road win in 10 innings from the Gamecocks.
Chase Cockrell homered twice and Thomas Dillard and Nick Fortes each went yard once for a season-high four home runs. While the two potent offenses traded blows, Caracci came on in the seventh and turned in four scoreless innings, allowing four hits and no walks, striking out four along the way, including a full-count strikeout of USC's best hitter, Madison Stokes, with the bases loaded in the 10th to push Ole Miss to 36-13 on the season and 13-11 in SEC play.
Dillard crushed a home run that ended up all the way out of Founders Park to open the second inning, and Cockrell followed suit with his first home run of the day off the batter's eye in straightaway center. South Carolina tied it back up in the third when Stokes stroked a two-RBI single.
Ole Miss regained the lead on a solo homer by Fortes in the fifth, only to see South Carolina tie it right back up in the bottom half. The Gamecocks took their turn in the home run derby, knocking two solo shots in the sixth to take the lead.
The Rebels chipped their way back from that deficit on a Cole Zabowski sacrifice fly in the seventh and Cockrell's second home run in the eighth, giving him two multi-homer games on the year.
Similar to the 10th inning, Caracci fanned Stokes on a full count at the conclusion of a 10-pitch at-bat to escape an eighth-inning jam that had the Rebels in a runners-on-the-corners situation with no outs. The Rebel closer retired USC in order in the ninth to send the ballgame to extra innings.
Will Golsan led off the 10th with a single to left. Tyler Keenan nearly joined the home run derby in the following at-bat, but he settled for a double off the top of the wall in right field. Cockrell continued his big day with a sacrifice fly to score Golsan, which proved to be the game-winning run.
South Carolina smacked back-to-back one-out singles through the left side before a Caracci strikeout represented the second out. An error by the Rebel defense loaded the bases, but in the high-pressure situation, Caracci delivered once again, fanning a .350 hitter in Stokes to give Ole Miss a critical road win in league play.
Ole Miss is off for the midweek and returns to action for a Thursday-Friday-Saturday series at Swayze Field against Auburn. The slate begins Thursday at 6 p.m. CT on ESPNU, likely with a highly anticipated pitching matchup between Ole Miss lefty Ryan Rolison and Auburn ace Casey Mize.