No. 3 Baseball Splits Doubleheader in Starkville
STARKVILLE, Miss. - While nothing went the way of No. 3 Ole Miss in Game 1 at Mississippi State, the Rebels rolled in Game 2 behind a brilliant pitching effort from Ryan Rolison and a 14-hit day from the offense to even the series.
Ole Miss fell 13-3 in Game 1, but turned around and dominated Game 2, 6-1. After their fourth doubleheader of the season, the Rebels ended the day at 27-5 overall and 7-4 in Southeastern Conference play.
GAME 1 - BOX SCORE (HTML) GAME 1 - BOX SCORE (PDF)
Game 1 - Mississippi State 13, Ole Miss 3
The day started off well when Grae Kessinger drew a leadoff walk, and Nick Fortes gave Ole Miss an early 2-0 lead with an opposite-field home run off of Konnor Pilkington. It marked Fortes' seventh home run of the season, putting him in a three-way with Thomas Dillard and Cole Zabowski for the team lead.
However, the Bulldog starter settled in after that early homer, and the MSU offense, which struggled
The home team first chipped away with one run in the first and another in the second to tie the game at two. Then in the third inning, Mississippi State took control with an eight-run deluge. The Bulldogs added three more runs in the fifth to put the game out of reach.
While Feigl and reliever Greer Holston struggled in the first game, freshman Max Cioffi came in late with a strong performance out of the bullpen. The rookie out of Chicago went 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits.
GAME 2 - BOX SCORE (HTML) GAME 2 - BOX SCORE (PDF)
Game 2 - Ole Miss 6, Mississippi State 1
Rolison was sharp from his first pitch, retiring the Bulldogs in order in the opening frame.
Ole Miss struck first after a single by Zabowski. The Rebel first baseman advanced to second after a balk by MSU starter Ethan Small, and Tyler Keenan made him pay, sending a two-out single back up the middle to plate Zabowski for the game's first run. Jacob Adams followed suit, shooting one right back up the middle to make it a 2-0 game.
Mississippi State got one back after consecutive doubles to open the third inning, but from then on, Rolison was lights-out. After the run scored, the sophomore out of Jackson, Tennessee, struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
Ole Miss added two more in the fourth after a two-out single by Kessinger. Ryan Olenek and Fortes then sprayed back-to-back doubles to opposite ends of the field, Olenek's to left and Fortes' to right, to make for another two-run inning on two outs by the Rebels.
The Rebels tacked on two more in the fifth after a leadoff single by Will Golsan. Chase Cockrell sent the Rebel captain home with a double deep to center field. Shortly thereafter, Adams drove in his second run of the day, plating Cockrell while grounding into a fielder's choice.
As it turned out, those six runs were more than enough for the combination of Rolison and Will Ethridge.
From then on, Rolison allowed just one baserunner in the fifth and one in the seventh but was otherwise flawless through his final three innings before giving way to Ethridge.
The Bulldog batters had no answer for the 6-foot-5 reliever. He retired MSU in order in the eighth and allowed a lone single in the ninth before fanning the final two batters of the night to seal the win. Ethridge's line was indicative of his dominance: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K.
Fortes and Olenek were outstanding at the plate, each going 3-for-5 with an RBI in Game 2. Cockrell finished 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Keenan was 2-for-5 with an RBI. Adams was clutch in the nine-hole as well, going 1-for-4 with two RBI.
The Game 3 rubber match is set for a 1 p.m. CT start with James McArthur set to take the mound for Ole Miss against MSU's Jacob Billingsley.
For all Ole Miss Baseball news and information, visit the official athletics site OleMissSports.com. For more social media updates, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissBSB, on Facebook at Ole Miss Baseball and on Instagram at
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