By School Reports
Miss. State 5, Arkansas 3
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Junior right-hander Caleb Reed sparkled in relief as the Mississippi State baseball team rallied to a 5-3 victory over No. 13 Arkansas in a Southeastern Conference baseball game played Sunday afternoon at Baum Stadium.
Reed threw 5.1 innings of scoreless relief as the Bulldogs blew past an early 3-1 deficit. The victory was sweet for a Maroon and White squad, which had dropped a heart-breaking 6-5 decision Friday and also suffered a 6-1 setback on Saturday.
With the win, MSU improved to 22-14 overall and 6-9 in league play at the official midway mark of the conference schedule. While the Bulldogs remain in fifth place in the Western Division standings, the win did mean MSU stays within two games of division leaders Arkansas, Alabama and Ole Miss. Arkansas fell into that tie, while dropping its record to 26-9 and 8-7.
The Bulldogs also snapped a five-game losing streak versus the Razorbacks as well as a five-game skid in this head-to-head series. The Bulldogs are now 7-6 against ranked opponents. Arkansas saw an eight-game win streak snapped with the defeat.
“This was a really big win,” said Reed, who earned his sixth save. “The one thing you can say about our team is we always compete. The scouting report on the Arkansas hitters was that they were early swingers. (Pitching) Coach (Butch) Thompson told me to throw strikes and let them make the outs.”
Ole Miss 6, Kentucky 5
OXFORD – Just like the previous two nights it came down to holding the Wildcats off late, but this time the Rebels had to put together a rally of their own to go back in front in the seventh as Ole Miss (23-14, 8-7 SEC) swept Kentucky (17-20, 2-13 SEC) with a 6-5 win on Sunday.
The Rebels downed the Wildcats 3-2 on Friday night and 12-10 on Saturday to post the first SEC sweep of the season. It also marked the first SEC home sweep for the Rebels since taking all three games from fifth-ranked LSU the final weekend of April in 2010.
Eric Callender (1-0) picked up his first win of the season in relief as he allowed three runs on three hits with a strikeout in 2.0 innings of work. The senior gave up the go-ahead runs in the sixth inning, but shut Kentucky down after that to allow his team the chance to rally for the win.
Brett Huber picked up his fourth save of the season, allowing only one hit with a walk and a strikeout in the final 2.0 innings of work.
“This was just like the previous two games – hard fought,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “I was really proud of how all weekend our guys handled adversity when it presented itself and were able to come back from behind today and get the win.”
Mississippi State and Ole Miss meet in the Governor’s Cup matchup on Tuesday. That 6:30 p.m. contest will be televised regionally by Comcast Sports Southeast from Trustmark Park in Pearl.
Read more about these games in Monday’s NEMS Daily Journal.