Governor’s Cup: Ole Miss 8, MSU 1

The Governor’s Cup was a landslide tonight, with Ole Miss running away to an 8-1 win here at Trustmark Park. Senior lefty Brett Bukvich hurled six innings of five-hit, one-run ball, striking out a career-high 11 and walking none to improve to 5-1 on the year.

“I don’t know what the adjectives are. (Scott) Bittle-like, right? He was tremendous tonight,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. He sure was. MSU’s bats were not tremendous. The Bulldogs (19-18) struck out 14 times in all, compared to three times by the Rebels (26-10), who chased starter Ricky Bowen (2-2) in the second inning and collected 12 hits against five pitchers.

MSU coach John Cohen was highly critical of his team’s effort tonight against Bukvich. “You just have to be a mean, aggressive son of a gun to figure out the changeup and the breaking ball, and we just weren’t,” he said. “We just didn’t compete, which is really – that’s our whole deal, if we don’t compete every pitch, we have no chance.”

Cohen was just getting warmed up. “You’ve got to go into figure-it-out mode, and that takes a lot of mental energy, and you’ve got to be up for it, and you’ve got to compete. We just didn’t do it tonight. That’s embarrassing to me, it’s embarrassing to our program. In the future, I just don’t think that’s going to happen a whole lot.”

MSU had eight hits, three of them by Nick Hardy. Ole Miss was led at the plate by Michael Hubbard, who was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. His double to left in the second inning gave Ole Miss a 2-1 lead. The Rebels opened up the game with two runs in the fourth and three in the fifth.

MSU returns to action Friday to begin a three-game home set versus Kentucky. Ole Miss travels to Florida.