By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – The stakes weren’t nearly as high this time, but the revenge was still sweet.
No. 5 Mississippi State took down Samford, 8-2, at Dudy Noble Field on Saturday in The Diamond Classic. Samford (4-3) was the team that beat the Bulldogs twice and eliminated them from the NCAA Tallahassee Regional last season.
“We came out here today just wanting to put it on them, because they really disappointed us last year, and we threw our best against them and they still beat us,” MSU pitcher Ross Mitchell said.
“We really wanted to attack them early, and we were able to do that the first two innings, score three runs, and that was big.”
In the nightcap, MSU (8-0) overcame a three-run deficit to beat Purdue 7-6.
Mitchell (2-0) tossed six innings of one-run relief to earn the win against Samford. He followed starter Evan Mitchell’s three hitless innings, and it was yet another strong showing by MSU’s pitchers.
No single State pitcher has allowed more than two earned runs in a game.
“Our starting guys aren’t where we want them to be yet, but we feel like they can get there. But our bullpen has just been exceptional,” MSU coach John Cohen said.
Adam Frazier had three of MSU’s 13 hits and sparked a three-run first inning with a leadoff triple. State added three more in the second for a 6-0 lead.
Hunter Renfroe’s solo home run in the fourth made it 7-1.
Against Purdue (3-4), State was down 5-2 in the fifth inning but used a three-run sixth to take a 7-5 lead. Renfroe, who had three hits, tripled home two runs in the inning.
Reliever Chad Girodo (1-0) got the win, while Jonathan Holder picked up his third save.
Ole Miss 1, Rhode Island 0: Pinch hitter Austin Knight drove a two-out pitch to left center to score Cameron Dishon and keep the Rebels undefeated through six games.
The sophomore came in for Will Jamison with two men on and worked a full count before driving in the winning run.
The hit was one of five for the Rebels (6-0).
“I think it’s what makes our sport so special, that we could come out and look so good offensively Friday night and then today, their guy (Sean) Furney really just handled us,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco.
Brett Huber (1-0) got a fly out and a strike out in the ninth inning to earn the win.
Starter Mike Mayers gave up two hits in six innings and struck out four with three walks.