FINAL: MSU 4, No. 18 Ole Miss 2 (Game 3)

Recapping MSU’s 4-2 win over No. 18 Ole Miss on Sunday at Dudy Noble Field.

The buzz: MSU captured its third SEC series victory of the season, winning the rubber match despite getting a season-low two hits. The Bulldogs (27-17, 10-11 SEC) got it done offensively via hit-by-pitches, walks and other assorted means. Starting pitcher Luis Pollorena put in solid work, and both his defense and the defense behind him was on point. Hunter Renfroe, filling in for an injured C.T. Bradford, robbed Matt Snyder of a home run with a leaping grab in right-center in the fourth.

Big inning: MSU scored four times in the first with the aid of only one hit, a single by Mitch Slauter. Three batters were hit by a pitch, another two walked, and Wes Rea had a sac fly RBI.

Key stats: Ole Miss stranded eight runners, MSU stranded seven. … Ole Miss was 0 of 9 with runners in scoring position. … Neither team committed an error.

MSU at the plate: MSU hitters recorded five HBPs, six walks and, again, just two hits, both by Slauter. … After DH Trey Porter took a pitch off his arm in the first inning, Phillip Casey took over there and took two HBPs. … State was 0 of 6 with runners in scoring position.

Ole Miss at the plate: The Rebels had eight hits. … Zach Kirksey, who entered in the seventh inning at DH, had two hits. His solo homer to right field led off the ninth. … Alex Yarbrough was 0 for 4, as his 22-game hitting streak came to an end. … Snyder’s RBI double in the eighth made it 4-1.

MSU on the mound: Pollorena went 5 1/3 innings, exiting after allowing his first two walks of the season. He gave up no runs on four hits, struck out a career-high seven, and had the two walks. … Reliever Caleb Reed worked the final 3 2/3 for his eighth save of the season. He allowed two runs on four hits, struck out one and walked none.

Ole Miss on the mound: Starter Tanner Bailey lasted only four batters, walking two of them and hitting another. He was charged with four runs on one hit. … Reliever Dylan Chavez came in and retired 12 in a row, exiting after a one-out single by Slauter in the fifth. … Chavez, Hawtin Buchanan and Brett Huber threw a combined 9.0 shutout innings.

Bottom line: The Bulldogs remain in the thick of things in the SEC West and are in fine shape right now as far as qualifying for the SEC Tournament. They have the same conference record as Ole Miss (28-16, 10-11) and have won back-to-back SEC series (three total).

Quotable: “If you had said, hey John, would you prefer to lose this game and get 15 hits or win this game and get two, I think we’ll take what we’ve got.” – MSU coach John Cohen

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