FINAL: MSU 7, Ole Miss 4

The buzz: On a soggy field – rain delayed the game’s start by an hour – MSU (32-18, 13-13 SEC) continued its dominance of Ole Miss this season and inched closer to the top of the SEC West standings. Oxford native Brent Brownlee had another nice game, hitting a two-out, two-run single in the sixth to break a 3-3 tie. This is MSU’s second series win over Ole Miss (27-23, 11-15) under third-year coach John Cohen, and including the Governor’s Cup win in Pearl, MSU is 3-0 against its main rival this season. State is at .500 in SEC play for the first time since 4-4.

Big inning: Ole Miss had just tied it at 3-3 in the fifth when MSU got to Ole Miss starter David Goforth for two in the sixth. As just mentioned, those runs came on Brownlee’s hit, which was set up by pinch-hitter Adam Frazier‘s leadoff single – he moved to second on a groundout. Goforth exited after Brownlee’s big hit.

Key stats: MSU turned three double plays – two were inning-ending, and the third came in the ninth on closer Caleb Reed‘s first pitch.

MSU at the plate: State had nine hits. Brownlee was 2 of 3 and scored twice, and he’s got four RBIs on the weekend. Jonathan Ogden had two hits and two runs, and freshman C.T. Bradford delivered a two-run, two-out double in the eighth for some insurance. Ryan Collins had two RBIs.

Ole Miss at the plate: The Rebels had seven hits, including two by Tanner Mathis. Will Allen homered for the second straight night, a two-run blast in the fourth to tie the game at 2-2. About those double plays: They came over the final three innings.

MSU on the mound: Starter Nick Routt (2-2) was effective, tossing 5 1/3 innings of three-run, five-hit ball to earn his second consecutive win. Devin Jones walked the lone batter he faced, then Tim Statz got through 2 2/3 innings allowing one run on two hits. He gave way to Reed in the ninth with no outs and two on, and Reed got the double play and a groundout for his 11th save overall and second of the series. He threw three pitches.

Ole Miss on the mound: Goforth (4-7) tossed 5 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on seven hits while striking out six against one walk. Brett Huber was touched for two runs on two hits in two innings, while R.J. Hively worked 1 1/3 scoreless frames.

Bottom line: The Bulldogs have won eight in a row, including six straight SEC games. They are rolling full steam toward Hoover and an NCAA bid, with solid starting pitching and timely hitting finally becoming consistent elements.

Quotable: “We’re right there at the top, in the mix, and we want to keep at it and keep winning. It’s all we can ask for.” – Brownlee

Up next: Game 3 is set for Saturday at 7 p.m., and it will be televised by SportSouth.

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