By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
PEARL – Scoring troubles resurfaced for Ole Miss as the Rebels dropped their sixth straight, this time at the hands of the in-state rivals.
No. 21 Mississippi State tied the game in the fifth, went ahead in the sixth and defeated No. 23 Ole Miss 5-1 Tuesday night at Trustmark Park before a crowd of 8,240, the largest in stadium history.
The game does not count in the SEC standings. MSU and Ole Miss meet for their three-game conference series in Oxford May 10-12.
Ole Miss used six pitchers and issued 10 walks.
“We’ve got to do something. You can’t walk 10 guys, hit a guy and expect to win. It’s amazing they only got five runs,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “We’re not tough enough. We’ve got to be tougher on the mound, tougher defensively and tougher at the plate.”
MSU reliever Ross Mitchell snuffed the life from a fast Ole Miss start, and the Bulldogs got big hits from their top producers.
Adam Frazier drove in two runs in the sixth, and Hunter Renfroe doubled and scored in a two-run seventh as the MSU (27-9) built a four-run cushion.
Ole Miss got Bulldogs starter Brandon Woodruff out of the game early with a run and three hits over 11⁄3 innings. The Rebels (23-10) finished with six hits, all singles.
Mitchell went six innings with two hits, a walk and four strikeouts.
“I threw some breaking balls in to a couple of people,” Mitchell said. “I went back to my best pitch, which is my fastball. I kept them low and got ground outs.”
Rebels starter Josh Laxer took a no-hitter into the fifth, but his five walks gave it a less-than-dominant feel.
The fifth inning was his undoing. The Bulldogs got two hits, the second from Alex Detz to drive in Derrick Armstrong and tie the game at 1.
Laxer left the game after issuing his fifth walk, this one to Renfroe.
Freshman left-hander Jeremy Massie got out of the fifth still tied by not the sixth.
Frazier was inches foul twice before looping a 2-2 pitch into shallow left field. Though the bases were loaded it was the first hit of the inning. Wes Rea and C.T. Bradford scored.