Rebels Drop 11-Inning Battle in Game 3 in Starkville
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STARKVILLE, Miss. - At the end of an 11-inning affair in which neither team would quit, No. 3 Ole Miss ended up with its first series loss of the season, falling 7-5 on a walk-off home run by its in-state rival Mississippi State.
Facing a one-run deficit going into the ninth, the Rebels strung together back-to-back base hits followed by back-to-back sacrifice flies to regain the lead. Mississippi State tied the game back up in the ninth, but Ole Miss escaped the jam on a double play to stay alive.
With a runner on base in the 10th, Thomas Dillard made a game-saving, highlight-reel catch at the warning track for the third out of the frame, but MSU ended it on a two-run Luke Alexander walk-off home run one inning later.
Mississippi State struck first after a leadoff single by Jake Mangum. The Bulldog center fielder came around to score for the game's first run. He fueled the MSU offense on the day, going 5-for-5 with four runs scored.
Ryan Olenek got that first run back in the third after an inning-opening single to extend his hit streak to 11 games. Nick Fortes sent him home shortly thereafter on an RBI groundout. The Rebels then added another on back-to-back doubles by Thomas Dillard and Cole Zabowski.
MSU tied it right back up in the bottom half as Mangum again scored after reaching on a hit by pitch.
Tyler Keenan broke the tie in emphatic fashion the fifth. He closed the fourth inning defensively with a double play then kept that momentum going. The freshman out of Clayton, North Carolina, launched a massive home run to right all the way out of Dudy Noble Field to make it a 3-2 game.
Dallas Woolfolk relieved McArthur in the sixth and turned in a gutsy performance. Facing a one-out situation with a runner on third, Woolfolk struck out two, including the last out of the inning on just three pitches, to escape the jam and preserve the one-run lead.
The Bulldogs poked back-to-back base hits off of Will Ethridge to start the seventh inning, bringing Parker Caracci out of the bullpen. A bunt led to a throwing error by the Rebel closer to tie the game, and the Bulldogs took the lead on the following at-bat as Tanner Allen grounded into a double play.
With three outs left, the Rebels rallied. Dillard and Zabowski strung together back-to-back base hits to open the inning and chase Cole Gordon, bringing Blake Smith into action. Will Golsan and Keenan then delivered back-to-back sac flies to give Ole Miss a 5-4
However, the Bulldogs came back with a run in the ninth to knot the game. Both squads threatened in extra innings, but the home team came through in the end with a walk-off home run to deliver the Rebels their first series loss of the season.
Ole Miss returns to action with another rivalry contest on Tuesday in Pearl, Mississippi. Ole Miss will take on Southern Miss at Trustmark Park, home of the Double-A Mississippi Braves. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. CT.
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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