“You just can’t give up 13 runs on 15 hits and win games in this league,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “We didn’t defend it or pitch it well enough to win tonight. No matter how many good offensive at-bats you have, you aren’t going to win defending and pitching the way we did.”
Ole Miss improved to 27-24 overall and 13-13 in league play, while MSU fell to 24-26 and 8-18. Coupled with Thursday night’s 4-3 win, Ole Miss clinched the conference series for a third straight year.
Sikes Orvis hit a three-run home run and J.B. Woodman added a solo shot during the six-run first inning for the Rebels. MSU starting pitcher Preston Brown (5-7) did not record an out, while allowing four hits and five runs.
Vance Tatum finished the first inning and held strong until being touched for some of the damage during the five-run fifth inning. Ross Mitchell allowed three runs in one inning of relief work. Levi Mintz and Dakota Hudson completed the contest. Hudson had three strikeouts in 1.2 innings of work.
“You simply can’t have a junior pitcher start the game not be able to get anybody out,” Cohen said. “We also had two errors that inning. You can’t have that happen.”
MSU slowly climbed back into the game. A solo home run by Wes Rea started a three-run second inning. Robson, Reid Humphreys and Gridley also had hits in that frame.
The Bulldogs closed within 7-4 on a Gavin Collins’ RBI-single in the fifth inning.
After dropping down 12-4, the Bulldogs scored twice in the sixth inning on RBI-singles from Robson and John Holland.
An inning later, the Bulldogs scored four runs on five hits to pull within 13-10. However, a critical base running mistake kept the inning from growing larger. Collins had an RBI-single and Luke Reynolds had a two-run double to center.
“Really credit the kids for continuing to battle,” Cohen said. “We have some guys who are competing at a really high level. However, we need more of them.”
Other multiple hitters for the Bulldogs included Collins and Reynolds, who each had two hits and two RBIs.
Brady Bramlett (6-3) allowed nine hits and six runs (all earned) in six innings of work to earn the win. Wyatt Short picked up his second save of the series and ninth overall.
The final game of the series is set for a 4 p.m. start Saturday and will be shown nationally on the SEC Network.