OXFORD | Recapping No. 21 MSU’s 3-0 loss to Ole Miss in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Swayze Field on Saturday.
• The buzz: With Friday’s game suspended by rain in the first inning, the teams are playing two today. The Rebels got it done behind some very strong pitching, although State (36-14, 13-12 SEC) certainly had some opportunities, like when Hunter Renfroe hit into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the third. MSU had the tying run at the plate in the ninth, but pinch-hitter Mitch Slauter struck out looking on a 3-2 pitch that he thought was too low. He and coach John Cohen both had words for the umpire as Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration” fired up over the loudspeakers.
• Big inning: Ole Miss (34-16, 13-12) got all the offense it would need in the fifth inning when Will Allen hit a Luis Pollorena pitch that bounced off the top of the left-center field wall and over for a two-out solo home run.
• Key stats: MSU, which leads the SEC in double plays turned, had none. … MSU stranded seven runners, Ole Miss eight.
• MSU at the plate: The Bulldogs had just two hits – one by Adam Frazier, one by Renfroe. … Alex Detz was 0 of 3 with three strikeouts. … MSU struck out 10 times total.
• Ole Miss at the plate: The Rebels had eight hits. … Andrew Mistone had two hits, as did Allen. … Sikes Orvis and Austin Knight had an RBI each.
• MSU on the mound: Pollorena (6-3) was better than he’s been in about a month, tossing 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs (both earned) on five hits. He struck out three and walked none, showing good command of his changeup. … Ross Mitchell tossed two-third of an inning, giving up one hit and walking two. … Chad Girodo allowed one run on two hits in 1 1/3 innings, with a walk and two strikeouts. … Will Cox faced one batter and struck him out, entering the game with an 0-2 count on the hitter.
• Ole Miss on the mound: After normal Friday starter Bobby Wahl was scratched due to the rainout – he pitched one shutout inning Friday and will start Sunday – regular Saturday starter Mike Mayers took the hill and was superb. Mayers (4-4) tossed seen shutout innings, allowing two hits with five strikeouts and two walks. … Brett Huber worked a scoreless ninth for his 11th save.
• Bottom line: For the moment, MSU and Ole Miss are tied in the SEC standings, but Game 2 is coming up here shortly. Senior right-hander Kendall Graveman (5-4, 2.47 ERA) will throw for State, while Ole Miss will send sophomore Sam Smith (2-0, 3.35) to the hill.