FINAL: No. 18 Ole Miss 6, MSU 2 (Game 2)

Recapping MSU’s 6-2 loss to No. 18 Ole Miss on Saturday at Dudy Noble Field.

The buzz: The Rebels got to MSU starter Kendall Graveman early, and some miscues in the field aided the visitors, who tied the series at one game apiece. Worse, center fielder C.T. Bradford hurt his right (non-throwing) shoulder when he collided with right fielder Brent Brownlee as both players chased down a fly ball. It’s the same shoulder Bradford separated several weeks ago, but the extent of damage isn’t know at the moment.

Big inning: It was 2-2 when Ole Miss (28-15, 10-10 SEC) scored twice in the seventh. Auston Bousfield reached on an error by third baseman Daryl Norris, and then Austin Anderson drove in a run with a single to right field. Brownlee’s throw to third base on that play wasn’t caught by Norris – another E5 – and so another run scored.

Key stats: MSU committed three errors, leading to three unearned runs. … Ole Miss committed one error. … MSU was 0 of 9 at the plate with two outs. … Ole Miss had three two-out RBIs.

MSU at the plate: State had five hits. … Mitch Slauter‘s two-run homer off the top of the left field wall made it a 2-2 game in the sixth. … The top three hitters in MSU’s lineup had one hit apiece. … Wes Rea continued a dismal weekend, in which he’s now a combined 0 of 6 with four strikeouts and two pop-ups.

Ole Miss at the plate: The Rebels collected 10 hits. … Matt Snyder‘s two-run homer in the first inning put Ole Miss up early. … Will Allen had two hits, both doubles. … Bousfield scored two runs.

MSU on the mound: Graveman (3-3) pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits, striking out four and walking one on 90 pitches. … Ross Mitchell, Nick Routt and Jonathan Holder also pitched. They combined to give up two unearned runs on three hits, striking out two and walking none.

Ole Miss on the mound: Starter Mike Mayers (no decision) went five-plus innings, allowing two runs on four hits, striking out four and walking two on 86 pitches. … Reliever R.J. Hively (4-3) worked four innings of one-hit ball for the win. He fanned two and walked one.

Bottom line: After seeing its five-game winning streak snapped, MSU (26-17, 9-11) must bounce back tomorrow (1:30 p.m., CSS) to take the series and move back into a tie with Ole Miss in the SEC West. MSU hopes today’s fielding woes were just an anomaly. Starting pitcher is TBA.

Quotable: “We gave them a lot of runs today, and we just can’t do that defensively in this league.” – MSU coach John Cohen

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