Rebels win finale at MSU to take series

Ole Miss scored early and often, and the Rebels needed almost every run as MSU battled to the end.

STARKVILLE - Where to start in this one? How about at the beginning?

Ole Miss came out blazing in the top of the first inning and put up four runs en route to a 13-11 win against Mississippi State.

The Bulldogs put up a couple in the bottom of the frame and the race was on. Before this one was through, the Rebels would have 20 hits to State's 16. Ole Miss would use three pitchers - Lance Lynn, Garrett White, and Cody Satterwhite - and MSU five - Josh Johnson, Chad Crosswhite, Aaron Weatherford, Mitch Moreland, and Jesse Carver.

Point to Rebel starter Lynn and closer Satterwhite when looking at this storyline as well. Both true freshmen bookended White's performance and brought the Rebels home to victory.

Lynn went five innings but walked the leadoff Bulldog in the bottom of the sixth with the Rebels leading 12-5. That he was able to go that long wasn't necessarily that surprising, but Rebel head coach Mike Bianco said Lynn showed some guts to keep working through some rough spots throughout his time on the mound.

"There were a lot of stories in this game, but Lance getting to the sixth was was certainly one of them," Bianco said. "He could have been out of there several times, but he just kept battling."

White then came in and went two and a third, allowing four earned runs on eight hits with four strikeouts but no walks.

But when White got into some serious trouble in the eighth with State trailing only 13-10 and a runner on second, Satterwhite entered. He immediately got a ground out and a fly ball to end the inning.

After Ole Miss failed to score in the top of the ninth, the Bulldogs got a leadoff home run from Jeffrey Rea and then Satterwhite hit Ed Easley. Things were obviously a little shaky at that point.

The Rebs almost turned the double play on the following Bulldog batter as Thomas Berkery reached on a fielder's choice while Easley was out on a Justin Henry to Zack Cozart throw. But the relay to first base to C.J. Ketchum wasn't in time. Brian LaNinfa then flew out to center field on a ball caught at the wall by Alex Presley, followed by a wild pitch that allowed Berkery to get to second.

Mitch Moreland then flew out to Presley, this time not as deep as LaNinfa a few moments earlier, and the game belonged to the Rebels.

After the leadoff homer by Rea in the ninth, junior catcher Justin Brashear strolled out to the mound and visited with Satterwhite.

"I just said 'Look, you've got three outs to get and a two-run lead. It's like a 2-0 game.' That seemed to settle him down a little bit," said Brashear, 4-for-5 on the day with three RBI; batting .500 in the three-game series with five hits including two doubles and a home run (in game three, his 11th of the season). "We have a lot of confidence in him and all our pitchers. We knew he could get the job done."

Satterwhite also said Brashear's little talk helped out at a crucial time.

"It got a little wild, but Brashear came out there and calmed me down," said Satterwhite, who this week got two wins (against Memphis Tuesday and Mississippi State Friday) and a save in the finale, the first of his UM career. "He told me to throw strikes and let them hit the ball."

He did and the Rebs won.

After the Rebels had stretched the early 4-2 lead out to a 7-2 advantage on a two-run home run by Brashear and immediately followed that with a solo homer by Mark Wright, MSU battled back with a three-run shot from Jeff Butts to make it 7-5 after only three complete.

The Rebs stretched the lead to 13-5 over the next three innings before State mounted its comeback. In the final three frames the Bulldogs put up six runs before Satterwhite finally got 'em shut down.

Lynn (5-3) got the win and Johnson (4-4) got the loss. Both had started the contest some four hours after it began.

Ole Miss finished the regular season 36-20 overall and 17-13 in SEC play. MSU ended its season at 35-21 and 12-17.

With the win for Ole Miss some points of note:

Ole Miss is the fifth seed in the upcoming Southeastern Conference Tournament in Hoover, Ala.

Mississippi State does not attend the eight-team SEC tourney for the second time in three years.

Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco got his 100th SEC win.

The Rebels became the winningst SEC team (West and East) the past four years with 70 league victories.

Ole Miss is the only SEC team (West and East) to have a winning SEC regular season the past four seasons.

Ole Miss won 17 games in SEC, marking the fifth season in Bianco's five that the Rebels have won at least 17 SEC regular season games.

OM Spirit Top Stories