Opening Success

Errol Robinson admitted he had been waiting most of the season for a moment like the one he had Thursday night. Actually he had two of them.

Robinson’s two doubles in Ole Miss’ 4-3 win against Mississippi State produced three RBI. Nic Perkins, with a couple of singles in the game, had the Rebels’ other RBI in the contest.

“I’ve been waiting for it, to be honest,” said Robinson, the sophomore shortstop, of a night like this, admitting he hadn’t had a lot of them so far this year.

But there’s still time, and that’s what Robinson and his teammates are focused on as the Rebels moved to 26-24 overall and 12-13 in Southeastern Conference play.

Ole Miss has six regular season games left. All of them are important for postseason opportunities.

Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said Robinson has been solid all season for the Rebels.

“He’s a guy we count on and has been pretty consistent. That’s why we put him behind Sikes (Orvis) in the lineup. Usually he’s good with runners in scoring position, and he’s going to get some good swings off.”

In the fourth inning after Colby Bortles doubled and Orvis walked, up came Robinson with a blast over the head of the centerfielder that got both runs home.

After State tied it 3-3 in the sixth, Robinson came up to bat in the eighth after Will Golsan had reached on a fielding error by MSU. Kyle Watson entered to pinch run, and Robinson drove him in from second after a stolen base. Once again Robinson drove it to the wall, and the MSU outfielder had to race back for it.

The MSU defenders were playing somewhat shallow in the outfield. Robinson and his teammates were aware of that.

“I had a conversation with Sikes before my at-bat, and he said, ‘Man, they’re playing you real, real shallow,” Robinson said. “So I thought, ‘I’ll see what I can do here.’ Very excited to come out and get a win.”

Perkins has been a key contributor lately. Late in most seasons some players step up and produce who hadn’t gotten a chance much of the season.

This year, one of those guys is Perkins.

“I’m just getting pitches and putting barrels on the ball, trying to make something happen,” said Perkins, who has been a key factor in the Rebels last two games, both wins.

Christian Trent went eight innings of 7-hit baseball with six strikeouts and no walks, although he hit the opening batter of the game for MSU. He allowed just two earned runs on his way to a 7-5 mark currently.

“Christian pitched well on the mound,” Perkins said. “He gave us a chance throughout the whole game, and everybody in the dugout stayed locked in. Christian just pitched well tonight.”

“It was a good night all around,” Trent said. “Offense was good. I felt great out there. I felt I had a good mix of all three (pitches). That helped me keep them off balance. Defense was good again. It’s just good to come out on top against the rival, especially in the first game.”

State had seven hits in the contest and Ole Miss had six.

Wyatt Short got a save, facing four batters in the ninth with a walk but nothing else.

The Rebels’ pitching for the next two games is in good shape with only Trent for eight innings and Short for one inning used in the opener.

Lucas Laster, the MSU starter, didn’t figure in the decision. The only other Bulldog pitcher in the game, reliever Zac Houston, got the loss and is 0-2.

MSU fell to 24-25 overall and 8-17 in league play.

Robinson said Ole Miss is ready for another big game Friday at 6 p.m.

“We're feeling good. We’ll come out with a lot of fire tomorrow,” he said. “This win was really good for us.”

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