Friday Night (High)Lights

Chris Ellis and Wyatt Short combined for a one-run, nine-inning performance as Ole Miss beat Mississippi State 6-1 in game one of a three-game series.

Ole Miss junior right-handed ace Chris Ellis

IMG 1331[1] from Ben Garrett on Vimeo.

The Rebels scored two runs in the first inning and never trailed. Ole Miss outhit MSU 13-10, but the Rebel defense never allowed the Bulldogs to muster anything offensively.

The Rebels are now 28-8 on the season and 8-5 in Southeastern Conference play, tied with Alabama and South Carolina for first place. But they are in third in the overall seedings currently due to series losses at both Alabama and at South Carolina.

The Bulldogs are now 21-14 and 6-7.

Quoting the Rebels

* Mike Bianco on junior RHP Chris Ellis, now 5-0 on the year: "I really thought his stuff was as good as it's been in maybe three or four weeks. One of things Mississippi State does is they walk. They don't take close pitches that are balls. Against a different team he would have gotten some easier outs. They made him work, even with a lead they made him work. He made pitches when he had to."

* Bianco on freshman LHP Wyatt Short, who got his third save this season: "Mississippi kid that came in on a Friday night and finished it off. Just great. Filled it up and did a great job. Terrific."

* Chris Ellis (6.2 innings, 1 run, 8 hits, 2 strikeouts, 1 walk) on his night: "Just making pitches. Focusing on not trying to throw the ball by them and letting my defense work. Everyone did a great job. Scoring two runs in the first inning helped, too."

* Wyatt Short (2.1 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 3 strikeouts) on his night: "Fast ball for sure was working. That's what I throw. I had a great defense behind me. I have all the faith in the world in them. Throw it in there and let them hit it. Let my defense work."

* Short on pitching in front of a huge crowd against the arch-rival: "It's great. I enjoyed it a lot. Crowd was amazing for sure."

* Errol Robinson on his 2-for-4 night: "I felt great. It's great to come out here and be more comfortable than the beginning of the season. I'm having a great time and Coach (Cliff) Godwin has helped me. I had a little bit of nerves tonight. I just went out and played the game."

* Robinson on Ellis: "Chris had a great game, throwing strikes and making it easy on the defense, getting ground balls and double play balls. He makes it easy on us."

The Game

In the Rebel first, Auston Bousfield doubled with one out down the third base line. After Austin Anderson grounded out, Will Allen walked. Brantley Bell then hit a first-pitch single to score Bousfield.

That put runners at first and second. Sikes Orvis hit a first-pitch single right up the middle that scored Allen and it was 2-0.

Ole Miss then scored a run in the second. Errol Robinson led off with a single to right. Will Jamison sac bunted Robinson to second. Braxton Lee then doubled to the right center gap for a 3-0 lead, scoring Robinson.

Chris Ellis ran into a bit of trouble to start the Bulldog third. Derrick Armstrong led off with a single to right. Matthew Britton then singled up the middle to put runners at the corners.

But Jake Vickerson then popped up behind the plate and Will Allen caught it for the first out. Alex Detz grounded out but Armstrong scored and it was 3-1. Brett Pirtle was hit by a pitch from Ellis, but Gavin Collins then flew out to center field to end anything else for MSU.

Ole Miss added two more runs in the fourth. Preston Overbey led off with a single up the middle. During Robinson's at-bat, MSU junior left-handed starter Ross Mitchell was called for a balk, putting Overbey on second. Robinson then singled to put runners at the corners. Will Jamison grounded out but Overbey scored to make it 4-1. Lee doubled to left to score Robinson for a 5-1 Ole Miss lead.

In the State seventh, Armstrong reached on an infield single. Britton hit a first pitch from Ellis to center field for an out. Vickerson then grounded out to Orvis at first.

That's when Ellis was replaced by Wyatt Short. He got Detz to ground out to third to end the inning.

Short was back out on the mound to start the MSU eighth. Pirtle was thrown out at second base as Lee threw to Overbey for the out when Pirtle tried to stretch his hit into a double.

Overbey was hurt on the play and checked on by trainers. He stayed in the game.

Collins then popped up to Overbey who dropped the routine play. Bradford struck out swinging. Seth Heck then singled to right to put runners at the corners with two outs. But Wes Rea lined out to Overbey to end the Bulldog eighth inning.

A two-out RBI single by Orvis added a Rebel run in the top of the ninth, and the scoring was done for the night.

Short came back in the ninth to shut down the Bulldogs and end this one.

With the loss, State starter Ross fell to 5-3 on the year.

Ole Miss and MSU play again at 3 p.m. Saturday.

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