Rally Falls Short

A four-run top of the sixth inning and a failed late rally spelled defeat for Ole Miss in game one against Mississippi State as the Bulldogs won 6-5.

"I thought Mississippi State played very well," Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said. "I don't think we played that poorly. I just don't think a lot of things went our way, which happens sometimes. And that's not making excuses. They made all the plays. We just didn't hit with runners in scoring position tonight up until the eighth."

In that inning the Rebels got singles from Zach Miller and Jeremy Travis, followed by a Kevin Mort triple to the right center wall, scoring both runners.

After MSU pulled starter Tyler Whitney at that point, reliever Greg Houston came in as Evan Button flew out to center to score Mort. Then Matt Snyder singled up the middle to really put the Rebs in position to move ahead.

But back to back strikeouts by Jordan Henry and Logan Power put a halt to the Ole Miss comeback, and the Rebels still trailed by a run.

Back in the bottom of the fifth, Ole Miss had the bases loaded with two out but failed to get rus home.

It was that type night for the home team, which fell to 36-14 overall and 16-9 in Southeastern Conference play.

"We've been good all year with runners in scoring position," Matt Smith said. "Tonight we didn't get the timely hit with runners in scoring position."

State did, especially in that four-run sixth. Rebel starter Drew Pomeranz had been sensational to that point, with 10 strikeouts in five innings.

But leadoff hitter Grant Hogue singled, followed by a RBI double to the corner by Cody Freeman. Connor Powers singled to score Freeman, and State led 4-2.

After Russ Sneed struck out, Scott DeLoach walked, the first of the game for Pomeranz. Ryan Collins then singled to right, and Rebel right fielder Jeremy Travis let the ball get past him, allowing two runs to score. David Goforth relieved Pomeranz with no further damage in the inning.

The Bulldogs led 6-2 at that point, and the Rebels had some catching up to do.

But through the next four at-bats, Ole Miss was only able to push across the three runs in the eighth.

Nathan Baker came in for Goforth to start the top of the ninth. The junior lefty gave up a couple of hits but no runs.

Bulldog reliever Greg Houston was pulled with two outs and with Miller on second after a double. Jared Wesson came in and pitched to Taylor Hashman. The Rebel junior watched two breaking ball strikes, took a pitch high, and then swung at a ball in the dirt to end it.

"Houston and Wesson have been good for us the last two weeks," Cohen said. "Wesson found his breaking ball, and that's what we needed right there."

Pomeranz fell to 5-3 with the loss, while Whitney got the win and is 3-4.

Ole Miss got 12 hits to 11 for MSU.

"We didn't gave great offense, but we had enough tonight," said MSU head coach John Cohen, his last-place team improving to 22-27 overall and 7-17 in SEC play.

Saturday's 3 p.m. game pits Rebel senior RHP Brett Bukvich (3.63, 8-1) against MSU freshman left-hander Nick Routt (3.41, 4-3).

Bianco announced after the game Friday night that Sunday starter Scott Bittle will not pitch this weekend, still allowing his sore right arm to improve. He said the starter would either be Baker or Phillip Irwin.

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