Ole Miss 7, Mississippi State 1

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Sophomore Mark Holliman pitched seven-plus innings of five-hit baseball Friday night as Mississippi turned back arch-rival Mississippi State 7-1 in college baseball action Friday.

The fourth-ranked Rebels snapped a six-game Southeastern Conference losing streak to the Bulldogsimproving to 23-3 overall and an SEC-leading 6-1 in league play. The Rebels won on a Friday night in SEC action for a third straight weekend. MSU fell to 16-9 overall and 2-5 in league play.

"We did a good job with timely hits, said Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. "Mark pitched a strong ball game. He set the tone tonight and gave us a chance to win the game."

Holliman (5-0), a sophomore right-hander from Germantown, faced 29 batters in 7.1 innings of work. He allowed five hits and no runs, while striking out eight and walking three. Brian Pettway finished the contest on the mound for the Rebels.

MSU broke up the shutout with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. Pinch-hitter Casey Hamilton slapped a one-out double to the left center gap. That hit scored Brad Jones, who opened the inning with a single.

The MSU score also averted what would have been Ole Miss' first shutout in the series since 1995. The Rebels last threw a shutout in Starkville during the 1973 season.

"We had some opportunities early and didn't get the runs," MSU coach Ron Polk said. "Jamie competed but we struggled swinging the bats. We hit into a couple of double plays early and that hurt."

The Rebels made the most of 12 hits by scoring in five different innings.

Ole Miss scored first in the second inning when Alex Presley walked and later scored on a groundout. The lead grew to 3-0 in the fourth inning when Presley laced a line drive RBI triple just inside the right field foul line. Barry Gunther also had an RBI single in that inning.

Ole Miss added another run on a Gunther RBI single in the sixth inning.

A massive two-run home run to right field by Steven Head chased MSU starter Jamie Gant in the seventh inning. A throwing error allowed Ole Miss to score its final run in the eighth inning. Gant (3-3) allowed nine hits and six runs (five earned) in six-plus innings of work. Andy Wilson finished the contest on the mound for the Bulldogs.

Head led the Ole Miss offensive attack with three hits and two RBIs. Matt Tolbert, Pettway and Gunther each had two hits.

Jeffrey Rea had a single and double to highlight State's eight-hit attack. For Rea, it was his 10th multi-hit game of the season and also ran his hit streak to 10 games.

The Rebels and Bulldogs resume their series at 2 p.m. Saturday. MSU is expected to start Alan Johnson (0-1, 5.48 ERA), while Ole Miss is slated to start Brae Wright (5-0, 1.43 ERA). The series concludes at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Ole Miss (23-3) 010 201 210 - 7 12 2
MSU (16-9) 000 000 001 - 1 8 1

WP-Holliman (5-0). LP-Gant (3-3). 2B-Tolbert, Rea, Hamilton. 3B-Presley. HR-Head (10). T-2:50. A-4,202.

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