STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's Baseball Bulldogs enjoyed its best offensive game in Southeastern Conference play this season Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, it did not add up to victory.
No. 14 Ole Miss scored in six of seven at-bats to take a 19-11 win over Mississippi State in the final game of a three-game weekend league series. The Rebels scored the most runs ever on MSU in 434 career meetings. In the process, UM completed its first three-game sweep of MSU at Dudy Noble Field since 1972.
The contest was halted in the bottom of the eighth inning after lighting and heavy rains moved into Oktibbeha County around 5:40 p.m. CT. After a 30-minute delay, play was halted with the final statistics reverting back to show a seven full innings of play.
Ole Miss won its seventh straight game in league play, 10th straight game overall and fifth straight against MSU. The Rebels moved into first place in the Western Division at 33-13 overall and 14-7 in league play. MSU is now 20-23 and 5-16.
After Sunday's play ended, 11 pitchers had come and gone in a contest which featured 30 runs, 32 hits, five errors and fell 16 minutes shy of being MSU's longest contest of the season. Ironically, all nine positions on both lineup cards had at least one hit in the contest.
Ole Miss sprinted to a 2-0 lead in the first inning only to see M-State battle back with four runs of its own in the home half of the first inning. Nick Vickerson and Connor Powers each singled before both scored on a three-run home run by Russ Sneed - his seventh of the season. Sam Frost capped the first inning with an RBI-single for a 4-2 lead.
The lead would be short-lived and wound up being the Maroon and White's only one of the contest.
The Rebels quickly regained the lead with four runs on three hits in the top half of the second inning. Matt Snyder's ninth home run of the season - a two-run shot - capped that at-bat and placed the guests back on top, 6-4.
An RBI-single by Ryan Duffy cut the UM lead to 6-5 in the home half of the second inning. Russ Sneed followed with a double but Ryan Collins - running for Duffy - was retired at home plate to end that inning.
Each team scored twice in the third inning. The Rebels plated scores thanks to a sacrifice-fly by Tim Ferguson and a run-scoring triple by Kevin Mort. M-State came right back when a two-out double by Frost started things. Jonathan Ogden drew a walk. An RBI-single by Vickerson scored one run, while a wild pitch scored another.
In the fourth inning, Frost again had the big hit - an RBI-single to tie the teams 8-8.
Ole Miss then blew the contest wide open with four runs in the fifth inning and six more scores in the sixth inning. UM had seven hits in those two at-bats combined and also benefited from two of MSU's four errors. The big blow in the sixth inning was a towering three-run home run by Taylor Hashman - his seventh of the season.
The Bulldogs last gasp came during a three-run sixth inning. Ogden had a two-run double and Luke Adkins an RBI-single in that at-bat.
MSU finished with 17 hits - its highest offensive output in a conference game this season. Frost had his first four-hit game of his Bulldog career. Sneed had three hits, while Vickerson, Powers and Freeman added multiple hits.
UM finished with 15 hits. Ferguson and Matt Snyder each had a team-high three hits. Kevin Mort and Zach Miller each added two hits. Hashman finished with a game-high four RBIs.
Eric Callendar (4-1) earned the win by working three innings in relief of starter David Goforth. Callendar allowed seven hits and four runs (all earned) with two strikeouts and a walk. Chad Girodo (1-3) - the fourth of eight MSU pitchers - took the loss. Luke Bole started for the Bulldogs was lifted after four walks in the first inning of play.
MSU returns to the road for a five-game road swing. That trip begins with Jackson State at 7 p.m. Tuesday and Southern Mississippi at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Both of those games will be played at Trustmark Park in Pearl. League play resumes next weekend with the Bulldogs visiting Auburn.