Familiar Outcome

PEARL - A four-run sixth inning for Southern Mississippi doomed Ole Miss as the Golden Eagles defeated the Rebels 5-3 Tuesday night.

It was the sixth loss in the last seven games, including three in a row, for Ole Miss against in-state rival Southern Miss.

The Rebels led 3-0 early but never mustered any offense after the fourth inning.

"Offensively we couldn't get anything going. Disappointing," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco after his team fell to 21-5. "We tried to get something going with stolen base or hit and run. But just couldn't put anything together."

Bianco said it wasn't only after the 3-0 lead that concerned him offensively. It was before as well.

"Ten hits to four hits. It wasn't close," he said. "And the (USM) guys you want to get to, the bottom of the lineup, beat us."

Jeremy Massie had pitched well into the sixth. But after a RBI single with two outs, a line shot to Massie bounced off his hand and he left the game.

Cheyne Bickel came in and gave up a RBI single to make it 3-3. Evan Anderson entered immediately and gave up a RBI single to give USM a 4-3 lead it never relinquished.

Bianco said going with Bickel and Anderson were good choices that he believes in.

"We went with a couple of freshmen there, because you have to pitch them. They've got to learn. I really don't think they did anything wrong. Bickel got ahead at 1-2 with a good slider. Their guy did a good job and got the base hit. Evan does what you want him to do, throw the ball into the strike zone."

Freshman Dalton Dulin was 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored. Dulin led off the Rebel third with a single and later scored on a throwing error by the USM first baseman when Austin Anderson reached on a fielder's choice. Will Allen got Braxton Lee home after Lee had reached on a bunt following Dulin's single.

It was Dulin again with a RBI single in the fourth that gave Ole Miss the 3-0 lead. J.B. Woodman had reached on a hit by pitch, and stole second. He raced home on Dulin's hit up the middle.

Matt Durst got a run in for USM (13-12) on a single in the third to cut the UM lead to 3-1. Massie stranded two USM runners in the fourth and another in the fifth.

But it was the sixth when things unraveled for Ole Miss, ranked as high nationally as 9th this week.

Bianco said he believes Massie, now 1-2 with the loss, is OK after being hit.

"I think he is, but we'll see," he said.

Bianco said Massie did a good job to that point.

"He kept them off balance and mixed all the pitches," he said. "I thought he was winning the game for us. We just couldn't get out of that inning, and that was the whole ballgame."

But Bianco kept coming back to the offense, something that needs to be better when Ole Miss travels to Alabama for three games this weekend.

"Certainly we've got to be able to score more than three runs on a Tuesday," he said.


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