OXFORD – Austin Wright struck out a career-high 10 batters and held the Bulldog offense in check, while the Rebels exploded for 12 runs on 15 hits as Ole Miss (28-23, 12-15 SEC) defeated Mississippi State (32-19, 13-14 SEC) by a score of 12-3 in the series finale on Saturday.
Alex Yarbrough went 4-for-5 with four runs scored and an RBI, while Matt Snyder was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI to help pace the Rebel offense in the win.
Wright (5-4) picked up the win as he worked 6.1 innings and held the Bulldogs to two runs on four hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts.
Chris Stratton (5-6) suffered the loss for Mississippi State as he allowed six runs – three earned – on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 0.2 innings of work.
“We played well today,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “I’m proud of the way we came out tonight. The past two days have been hard. I feel like we gave the first game away and then Friday night they beat us in every aspect of the game. We came out tonight with a lot of balance and life, which tends to happen when your backs are against the wall.
“We should always play like that, anytime we put on these uniforms and represent our university, we should play hard,” Bianco said. “It all started on the mound tonight with a great performance by Austin Wright. He was very sharp in a must win kind of situation.”
The Rebels broke things open in the first inning and never trailed as Ole Miss took a 6-0 lead on the Bulldogs right out of the gate. The Rebels loaded the bases with one out before the scoring started with a two-RBI single from Matt Tracy. Will Allen then drove in another run with a single before a fielding error at first on a grounder from Austin Anderson put Allen and Anderson in scoring position. Blake Newalu then delivered a two-out single to drive in both freshman and give Ole Miss the six run advantage.
Ole Miss added a seventh run in the fourth inning when Yarbrough scored on a double from Snyder before Mississippi State would get on the board in the fifth with a solo home run from Jonathan Ogden.
A double from Miles Hamblin with two out started another rally as a Yarbrough single drove in the senior catcher. Snyder then hit a two-run shot to right field to push the lead out to 10-1 in favor of the Rebels.
Mississippi State got two runs back in the top of the seventh, but the Rebels took the lead back out to nine runs in the eighth with two more runs of their own for the final score of 12-3.
Ole Miss will play its final home game of the regular season on Tuesday night when the Rebels host Southeast Missouri State at 6:30 p.m. It will be Fan Appreciation Day at Swayze Field, with all fans being admitted to the game free of charge and all parking being free (with the exception of lots A, B and the parking lot reserved for handicapped parking).