Ole Miss Mistakes

Ole Miss and Mississippi State played a baseball game in Oxford Thursday night, and the Rebels were more than fitting hosts. Four errors opened the door for the Bulldogs, and the visitors walked right in with a 7-6 win.

Even with that, Ole Miss had a chance to win it in the ninth inning. In their last at-bat, the Rebels had bases loaded with no outs. Blake Newalu walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. Alex Yarbrough singled and Newalu moved to third.

Matt Snyder then walked to load them up. But Matt Tracy hit into a double play, which still allowed Newalu to score. But the game ended when Will Allen struck out looking.

"Tough game. Thought we had them at the end," Ole Miss Coach Mike Bianco said.

But that was not the case.

Just a couple of innings earlier, it appeared the Rebels were primed to win it. Yarbrough launched one into the left field terrace with two Rebels aboard to give his team a 5-4 lead in the seventh inning.

Ole Miss (27-22 overall, 11-14 SEC) had battled back from a 4-1 deficit through three innings. A couple of early errors contributed to State's lead.

"They get a couple of base hits and we make a couple of errors and don't play well enough in the field," Bianco said of the early moments of the contest.

The same thing was said late as in the top of the eighth MSU answered the Rebels' three runs from the bottom of the seventh.

A play at the plate
Bruce Newman
Brett Huber had relieved Matt Crouse to start the seventh and gotten the Bulldogs in order.

But Bianco chose to start the eighth with Bobby Wahl on the mound. Back to back base hits were followed by a bunt that wasn't fielded, and a run scored.

MSU (31-18, 12-13) had tied it 5-5. But with one out and following a strikeout, catcher Miles Hamblin tried to throw the ball to Austin Anderson at third base to get a runner out, and sailed the ball into left field allowing the run to score. A Wes Thigpen single scored another run and an error on Tanner Mathis in left was also attributed on the play.

That made it 7-5, and the Rebels' late rally fell short with just a run scored in the ninth.

"Gutsy performance but he wasn't sharp," Bianco said of his starter Crouse, who went six innings, allowing four runs but only one earned, on four hits with six strikeouts and three walks. "Matt struggled with his location early. But they got some two-strike hits to push some runs across early. We couldn't get the momentum. Finally he gives us some zeroes on the board and we get back into the game. A huge home run by Yarbs (in the seventh). But we were not able to hold on."

Wahl (0-1) got the loss. Reliever Chad Girodo (3-0) got the win.

Ole Miss outhit MSU 11-8.

Yarbrough said the Rebels had the Bulldogs right where they wanted them heading into the eighth.

"One end of the spectrum to the other pretty quick," said Yarbrough of the way the bottom of the seventh lifted Ole Miss and the top of the eighth put them back behind the eight ball, so to speak. "I felt we had all the momentum in the world going into the top of the eighth."

And they did, briefly.

Game two of the series is at 7 p.m. Friday.

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