STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State could not hold the Ole Miss offense at bay Sunday afternoon.
Playing less than 24 hours after a dramatic walk-off win, MSU could not duplicate the magic, falling 12-2 to the arch-rival in the final game of a three-game Super Bulldog Weekend Southeastern Conference series at Dudy Noble Field.
Sunday’s series finale was played before a crowd of 10,371 meaning the two teams combined for a three-game NCAA on-campus attendance record of 39,181 for the weekend series.
Ole Miss improved to 29-9 overall and 9-6 in league play, while MSU fell to 22-15 and 7-8. The Bulldogs dropped their second straight league series and first home league series since the 2012 campaign.
“We were a bad baseball team today,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “I feel like where we are not where we need to be but that we can get there. It will take a lot of hard work but we can get there. We are going to represent Mississippi State the right way and find a way to play some better baseball.”
Ole Miss pounded out 20 hits and scored in six different innings off a quartet of MSU pitchers. Ben Bracewell (2-3) drew the start and was lifted after 2.2 innings. Bracewell allowed five hits and two runs (both earned), with a walk and two strikeouts.
Ole Miss took the lead for good with two runs in the first inning. The Rebels then scored four times in the fourth inning and were on cruise control behind the pitching of Sam Smith (5-2) and Jeremy Massie.
Smith (5-2) allowed six hits and two runs in six-plus innings. Massie completed the contest for his first save.
Down 10-0, the Bulldogs broke up the shutout with two runs in the seventh inning. Derrick Armstrong and Jake Vickerson each had singles. Reid Humphreys followed with an RBI-double. An RBI-ground out scored the other run.
“We have to find a way to pitch it better,” Cohen said.”We have to have someone who can come out on a Sunday and give us a chance. Again, we will get there. We will keep working at it until we have the answers.”
Austin Anderson had four hits and two RBIs for Ole Miss. Preston Overbey had three hits and three RBIs, while Auston Bousfield had three hits and two RBIs.
Armstrong finished with two of MSU’s eight hits.
MSU hosts Alcorn State at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.