OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Mississippi squeezed as much as it could out of minimal offense, but it wasn't quite enough against Virginia in the College World Series.
In their first appearance in Omaha since 1972, the Rebels lost 2-1 on Mike Papi's RBI double to right-center with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Virginia's Nathan Kirby and Artie Lewicki combined for the first one-hitter at the CWS in 31 years. Other than Errol Robinson's single in the third inning, Ole Miss' base runners were the result of three walks.
"I thought they outplayed us tonight," Rebels coach Mike Bianco said. "Not by much, but enough to make a difference, especially in this tight of a ball game."
Ole Miss (46-20) meets Texas Tech in an elimination game Tuesday afternoon. Virginia (50-14) faces TCU in a winners game at night.
Virginia was just 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position when Papi went to the plate in the ninth. Bianco decided to have Aaron Greenwood (3-2) pitch to the Cavaliers' top hitter and RBI leader even though first base was unoccupied.
Greenwood ran the count full before Papi drilled the ball into the gap, allowing Nate Irving to score from second.
"We kept getting opportunities and couldn't get that big hit to tack on some more runs," Virginia coach Brian O'Connor said. "I guess we saved it for the dramatic there in the ninth."
Bianco didn't second guess his decision to pitch to Papi, the first of three straight lefties in Virginia's batting order. Bianco said he was short of lefties in the bullpen after having used Jeremy Massie in the seventh.
Greenwood had earned a save in regionals and a win in super regionals.
"He's been our guy," Bianco said.
Still, he said, "It's not the place you want to be with the winning run at second base."
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