OXFORD – The Rebel offense came up with clutch hits while the pitching staff shut the Bulldogs down and No. 7 Ole Miss (37-15, 17-10 SEC) defeated Mississippi State (23-28, 8-18 SEC) by a score of 8-1 on Sunday to salvage the series.
Starter Phillip Irwin (6-3) picked up the win for the Rebels as he struck out a career-high 10 batters and held the Bulldogs to four hits and two walks in 6.1 innings of work. Jake Morgan then picked up his seventh save of the season as he worked the final 2.2 innings after entering the game with a man on the seventh and the Rebels holding to a 3-0 lead.
Devin Jones (0-3) took the loss for the Bulldogs as he allowed three runs on six hits with four walks and six strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work.
“It was a good game today and we probably looked more like ourselves, and not because we won,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We pitched well and played defense…and really the story of the day was Phil Irwin. He really placed four pitches today.”
Ole Miss got on the board in the fifth inning when Evan Button hit a solo home run to right field to give the Rebels a 1-0 lead.
The scoring continued in the sixth as the Rebels plated two more runs. Kyle Henson – who reached on a fielder’s choice and moved to third on a single from David Phillips – scored on a single to right center from Kevin Mort. Phillips advanced to third on the play and then scored on a wild pitch as Ole Miss moved out to a 3-0 lead.
The Rebels then broke things open in the seventh as Ole Miss would push four more runs across and take the lead out to 7-0. Logan Power walked and then scored on a Matt Smith home run to spark the rally as Ole Miss put the game out of reach.
The Rebels added an eighth run in the eighth inning as Power scored on a Brett Basham single that pushed Power home from third and gave Ole Miss the 8-0 advantage.
Mississippi State broke up the shutout in the ninth as Jarrod Parks – who struck out, but reached on a passed ball – scored from second on a single from Cody Freeman.
Ole Miss will return to action on Thursday in the final series of the regular season with three-games at Arkansas. The Rebels and Razorbacks will take the field for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch on Thursday night as the series will run Thursday through Saturday.