OXFORD • Hayden Leatherwood’s two-run, pinch-hit home run gave Ole Miss a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh, and relievers Max Cioffi and Braden Forsyth made it stand up.
No. 15 Ole Miss rallied from a one-run deficit in the seventh to win its seventh straight, knocking off Southern Miss 4-3 before an announced crowd of 8,078 at Swayze Field on Tuesday.
The Rebels (7-1) are in Greenville, North Carolina, for three games this weekend as they will face High Point, host East Carolina and Indiana.
Leatherwood’s home run was his second and the 17th of the season for Ole Miss.
“We thought we could hit. There’s no doubt, when you look at the guys who are hitting them, Leatherwood and (Cael) Baker, we knew those guys could run the ball out of the ballpark,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said.
The Rebels had just five hits.
Before Cioff and Forsyth, the Rebels’ bullpen gave up a lead.
Austin Miller entered with runners and first and second and no outs in the sixth.
He struck out the first two batters he faced to set himself up to get out of the inning, but he followed that quick success with balls on eight of his next nine pitches. His second walked tied the game at 2.
Miler then lost the lead when Will McGillis homered to the left field bullpen in the seventh.
The Rebels had little success with freshman right-hander Matthew Adams who faced the minimum in the sixth and seventh.
Adams, though, walked Justin Bench to start the Ole Miss seventh, and after Hayden Dunhurst struck out, Leatherwood replaced Tim Elko and launched an Adams change-up over the wall in right-center.
“He’s been really good for us. He made one mistake and left that pitch up,” Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said.
Adams and starting pitcher Drew Boyd were among a number of Golden Eagles (6-2) players who weren’t around their teammates over the weekend as they suffered with flu-like symptoms.
Cioffi threw a perfect eighth, ending with a swinging strikeout, and Forsyth gave up a walk and a hit with one out but got two swinging strikeouts to end the game.
“As a child I dreamed of playing here. Now I’m hitting a couple of home runs and making an impact. It’s indescribable,” Leatherwood said.