Five Bulldog hitters had 2 or more hits in the game with junior Steve Gendron and freshman Brad Corley leading the way with 3 hits apiece. Matthew Maniscalco, Matthew Brinson and Thomas Berkery were the other Bulldogs who had multiple hits.
"We hit a lot of hard ground balls the the last two days that were really handcuffing Ole Miss," said Polk. "A lot of it was because we put the ball in play with some authority."
Ole Miss, after being shut out the first two games of the series, jumped on Bulldog starting pitcher Todd Nicholas for two runs in the second inning on a two-run home run by Charlie Babineaux, who was 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs. Chad Sterbens went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.
MSU, in the fifth inning, tied the score on back-to-back RBI singles by Matthew Brinson and Brad Corley.
In the sixth, the Rebels regained the lead when Babineaux and Charlie Waite knocked in a run each with a double and single.
In the seventh inning, the Bulldog hitters bats came alive, scoring five runs that put the game away. After Matthew Maniscalco reached base on a shot that was surprisedly ruled an error by the official scorer, Ole Miss head coach Bianco pulled redshirt freshman Eric Fowler and brought in relief ace Jeremy Zick. Zick walked the first batter, then gave up a two-run double to Matthew Brinson. The next batter, Corley, also walked. Bianco then replaced Zick with Cupps but Cupps didn't do much better, allowing both Brinson and Corley to score as well as giving up a run of his own.
"The five-spot in the seventh was what really turned the tide," said Polk. "When you are playing on the road and you have already won two games and the home team just can't afford to be swept, you could just sense that here is it all over again."
Brian Owens (1-0) was the winning pitcher for the Bulldogs. He allowed a hit and a walk in 1.1 innings.
Jeremy Zick (2-3) was the losing pitcher, allowing one hit and two walks.
"The Zick kid's numbers were unbelievable coming in," said Polk. "He had only given up 4 hits in 17+ innings. His control was suspect (today). He mislocated a couple of pitches and our kids did a pretty good job of putting the ball in play."
With the three-game sweep, MSU is now 17-5 in Oxford-University Stadium.
"It is amazing," said Polk of the record. "It seems like we have left this stadium many times in my coaching career and I always seem to be leaving it somewhat happy with how the ballclub played. We are very fortunate to have that record."
MSU's next action is Tuesday when they play UAB at Dudy Noble Field at 6:30 p.m. The Bulldogs then play Ole Miss again in the Major's Trophy Game in Jackson at Smith-Wills Stadium in Jackson, Miss. Gametime is set for 6:30 p.m.
"We'll probably go with Jeff Lacher on Tuesday and Brad Corley will start the game in Jackson," said Polk of his two starting pitchers for the two mid-week games. "Hopefully, we can give some pitchers Tuesday and Wednesday and still try to win the ballgames. We have some guys that didn't get to throw here and it is important for them to get some opportunities mid-week to get ready for Kentucky who is coming in Friday, Saturday and Sunday."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher and owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial site for Mississippi State sports since October, 1996. He can be reached by email at email@example.com