STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State collected 10 hits but could not put together the big inning as it fell 6-1 to in-state rival Ole Miss in a college baseball game played Friday night at Dudy Noble Field.
Playing before a crowd of 13,224 – the largest Friday night crowd in the stadium’s history, the Bulldogs could not overcome a fast start by the Rebels and the strong pitching of the Ole Miss duo of Chris Ellis and Wyatt Short.
MSU did manage the 10 hits but stranded nine base runners and hit into two double plays. Ross Mitchell again pitched valiantly, falling one out shy of his third complete game of the season.
“I am proud of how we swung the bats,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “We swung the bats as well as they did (Ole Miss had 13 hits). They got some balls to fall and just about all of ours found their gloves. It was just one of those nights. The kids are competing hard.
“We made some mistakes on the bases but I think sometimes the kids are just trying too hard. In this league, you need to take a deep breath and let the game come to you.”
Ole Miss improved to 28-8 overall and 8-5 in the league, while MSU fell to 21-14 and 6-7. The Bulldogs have now dropped four straight league games after winning their first three conference series of the year.
Ole Miss hit Mitchell (5-3) hard early in the contest. The Rebels scored twice in the first inning and one more in the second inning to quickly build a 3-0 lead. Brantley Bell and Sikes Orvis had back-to-back RBI-singles in the first inning, while Braxton Lee had an RBI-double in the second inning.
The Bulldogs scored their lone run in the third inning. Derrick Armstrong and Matthew Britton had back-to-back hits to start the at-bat. After a foulout, a groundout by Alex Detz plated the run. A hit by pitch to Brett Pirtle loaded the bases. A flyout ended that threat.
MSU put together another threat an inning later when C.T. Bradford, Wes Rea and Britton each had hits. However, Bradford was caught up between third base and home for the final out in the at-bat.
Ellis (5-0) worked 6.2 innings, allowing eight hits to garner the win. Wyatt Short faced nine batters in 2.1 innings of two-hit relief.
Ole Miss expanded the lead with two scores in the fourth inning and another score in the ninth inning.
Mitchell allowed 13 hits and six runs (all earned), with five strikeouts and two walks. Myles Gentry got the final out.
“We made some great plays defensively,” Cohen said. “We had our chances but we couldn’t cash in.”
Seth Heck, Armstrong and Britton each had multiple hits for the Bulldogs.
Lee, Auston Bousfield, Bell, Orvis and Errol Robinson each had multiple hits for the Rebels.
The series continues at 3 p.m. Saturday. Ole Miss is scheduled to start sophomore left-hander Christian Trent (4-0, 2.22 ERA), while MSU is scheduled to start junior right-hander Trevor Fitts (2-2, 3.41).