Dogs Drop Series Finale to Ole Miss

OXFORD, Miss. - Mississippi State could not maintain the offensive rhythm Sunday afternoon, falling to Ole Miss 8-1 in a Southeastern Conference baseball game played at Oxford-University Stadium.

With the win, the seventh-ranked Rebels did salvage the final game of the weekend three-game series. Ole Miss improved to 37-15 overall and 17-10 in conference play. UM enters the final weekend of play one game behind LSU in both the Western Division standings and the overall league standings. MSU fell to 23-27 and 8-18.

Thanks to a 6-5 Friday night win and 11-8 Saturday night win, the Bulldogs still managed to take their first road conference series of the year. MSU also took a weekend series in Oxford for the first time since 2003. The Rebels also reversed a recent trend, winning the Sunday game from the Bulldogs for the first time in three seasons.

MSU started freshman right-hander Devin Jones. In his fourth start of the year, Jones (0-3) answered the challenge with his best and longest start. The Eupora native threw 5-2/3 innings, allowing six hits and three runs (all earned), with six strikeouts and four walks.

The teams were scoreless before UM's Evan Button hit a solo home run - his second of the year - in the home half of the fifth inning.

An inning later, Jones was lifted during a two-run sixth inning for the Rebels. Ole Miss put the contest away in the seventh inning, touching a pair of MSU relievers for four more scores.

The Bulldogs failed on two different golden opportunities to score first. In the fourth inning, MSU had runners on second and third base with no outs. UM starter Phillip Irwin recovered with three straight strikeouts to snuff that threat.

An inning later, Scott DeLoach continued his hot weekend with a leadoff single. DeLoach was then retired trying to score from first base on a Luke Adkins double. Kevin Mort's relay throw retired DeLoach at the plate for the first out of the inning. Again, back-to-back outs stranded Adkins at second base.

Irwin (6-3) worked 6-1/3 innings, allowing four hits and no runs, with 10 strikeouts and two walks. Jake Morgan closed out the contest for the Rebels, earning his seventh save.

The Bulldogs did break the up the shutout when Morgan was touched for an RBI-single by Cody Freeman in the ninth inning.

Ole Miss finished with 11 hits. Logan Power and Zach Miller each had multiple hits for the Rebels.

MSU finished with seven hits. DeLoach and Adkins each had multiple hits for the Bulldogs.

MSU remains on the road for their final non-conference game of the year Tuesday against the University of Memphis. The Bulldogs Tigers play at 3 p.m. at AutoZone Park. MSU then closes the 2009 season with a Southeastern Conference home series against league leader LSU. The Bulldogs and those Tigers play at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, 6:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday.

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