By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – Daryl Norris was disappointed, but not discouraged.
Saturday was a rough day for the Mississippi State third baseman, whose two errors in the seventh inning led to two unearned runs for Ole Miss, which went on to win 6-2 at Dudy Noble Field.
It was a 2-2 game when Norris made a poor throw to first base after fielding a grounder and checking the runner at second. Then, on Austin Anderson’s RBI single, Norris couldn’t handle a throw from right fielder Brent Brownlee, allowing another run to score.
“Both were really routine plays – plays I’ve got to make,” Norris said. “That’s crucial in a game like this. I probably concentrated a little too much on the runner at second on that play at first, and ended up having to rush the throw. And I don’t know how that ball got by me from the throw from Brent.”
Norris has been playing at third off-and-on since returning from a knee injury on April 6. He’s not 100 percent healthy, which limits his range, but he didn’t blame the knee for Saturday’s miscues.
“This weekend has felt really good. I feel like I’m moving a lot better. I have a lot more range than I’ve had the past few weekends,” he said.
Norris was pulled in the seventh in favor of Sam Frost, whose throwing error in the ninth aided a two-run Ole Miss inning. He had a force play at third with two outs but was playing well off the bag.
Over its previous five games, MSU had made just two errors. Its three Saturday tied a season high.
“We gave them a lot of runs today, and we just can’t do that defensively in this league,” Cohen said.
One of MSU’s best defenders, center fielder C.T. Bradford, hurt his right shoulder when colliding with Brownlee as both players chased a fly ball. It’s the same shoulder Bradford separated earlier this season, and his status for today’s game is unknown.
As for Norris, Cohen isn’t sure whether he will play at third today, saying it depends on how the knee feels. Norris, who’s committed only three errors all season, can say for sure that he’ll be fine mentally.
“Those two plays won’t affect me at all (today),” he said. “They’ll be behind me.”