OXFORD • It hadn’t been an exactly flawless weekend for Ole Miss shortstop Anthony Servideo, but it had been pretty close.
Until he threw wild to first base in the ninth inning, and a series win against No. 1 Louisville seemed much less secure.
Instead Max Cioffi, the third Ole Miss pitcher, preserved a one-run lead with a strikeout-throwout double play as Ole Miss won 7-6 before 8,969 fans at Swayze Field on Sunday afternoon.
The No. 25-ranked Rebels (2-1) claimed the series with wins on Saturday and Sunday after losing 7-2 on Friday.
Ole Miss has won all five series in which it has hosted the No. 1 team under coach Mike Bianco.
“It’s never easy for us. I almost had a stroke out there,” Servideo said. “What a way to end this game and the series.”
Servideo was 5 for 10 with a double and three RBIs in the series. He also walked three times.
He had a two-run home run in the fifth inning Sunday as the Rebels began their climb from a 3-0 deficit.
It was the seventh inning before the Rebels took a 7-4 lead, their first lead of the day. Ten men batted in the inning. The first six in the inning reached base, and four scored. Freshman Peyton Chatagnier touched home when Justin Bench was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and Tyler Keenan and Cael Baker had RBI hits.
A super regional team a year ago, Ole Miss was picked sixth in the SEC West by the league’s coaches.
“We played our best baseball. We weren’t going to let Louisville come in here and sweep us or anything like that,” Servideo said.
Ole Miss carried that 7-4 lead into the ninth inning.
Before Cioffi freshman right-hander Derek Diamond scattered six hits and four runs – three earned – over 5 2/3 innings, and Wes Burton, another freshman, retired the first seven he faced before issuing a four-pitch walk to start the ninth.
Cioffi got the first out on a fielder’s choice but advanced a runner with a wild pitch. Then former Oxford star Ben Bianco reached but connected enough to drop a ball behind first base and down the right field line. A run scored, and Bianco scored on Servideo’s errant throw.
Cioffi, on a 3-2 count, fooled pinch-hitter Henry Davis, and freshman catcher Hayden Dunhurst threw out Justin Lavey with room to spare.
Dunhurst ended the game and capped a big weekend for Ole Miss.
“I don’t think anybody really knows who we are yet really probably including us,” Bianco said. “This was a good start.”