Rebels Suffer First Midweek Loss of Season at Trustmark Park

PEARL, Miss. -- Ole Miss suffered just its first midweek loss of the season, 7-6, Tuesday night in a neutral-site meeting with in-state rival Mississippi State for the Governor's Cup.

The Rebels rallied with two runs in the top of the ninth inning, including a go-ahead pinch-hit RBI double by Michael Fitzsimmons. However, the Bulldogs came back in the bottom half and scored two of their own for the walk-off win in the non-conference meeting.

It was a quiet start offensively in Pearl. Jordan Fowler retired the first six Bulldogs in order while Cole Zabowski delivered the lone hit of the first two innings.

Ole Miss claimed the lead in the third when Tim Rowe roped an RBI double immediately after a leadoff single by Chase Cockrell. MSU came back with two runs in the bottom half and would've plated more if it weren't for back-to-back web gems by Tyler Keenan and Rowe. Keenan snatched a potential extra-base hit out of the air at third base and pegged MSU's Jake Mangum at the plate. On the following at-bat, Rowe sacrificed his body, smashing into the right field wall as he robbed Tanner Allen of extra bases.

The Rebels brought that momentum into the fourth, where Thomas Dillard crushed a home run off the restaurant in right field at Trustmark Park, netting the Rebels two runs after a leadoff walk by Nick Fortes.

The Bulldogs tied it back on a ground rule double in the bottom of the fourth to bring Greer Holston into action with two runners in scoring position and just one out. Holston escaped the jam masterfully, retiring back-to-back batters to limit the damage. That set up for Rowe to plate the go-ahead run. After a leadoff single, Rowe advanced to third on a pair of MSU miscues, and Jacob Adams delivered the go-ahead sacrifice fly to center, giving the Rebels a 4-3 lead.

Holston retired the first nine batters he faced in order before his first miscue, resulting in a game-tying home run by the Bulldogs. MSU added another off of Will Stokes in the eighth to claim a 5-4 lead going into the final frame.

Senior captain Will Golsan started the Ole Miss rally with a walk and scored shortly thereafter and a monster double off the left field wall by Cockrell. Fitzsimmons then came through with a pinch-hit run-scoring double of his own to give Ole Miss a one-run lead.

Unfortunately, the Bulldogs rallied right back in the ninth as Luke Alexander knocked a two-RBI double to right center off of Parker Caracci to end it.

The Rebels return to action on Thursday for a critical three-game set with LSU. First pitch for Game 1 is slated for 7 p.m. CT from Swayze Field and will be nationally broadcast on SEC Network.

QUICK HITS
- Ole Miss falls to 11-1 in midweek games this season.
- The Rebels fall to 32-10 overall. Because this game was a non-conference meeting between the SEC rivals, Ole Miss remains 10-8 in league play, tied for the SEC West lead.
- Of the Rebels' 10 losses this season, nine have come by two runs or fewer.
- Ryan Olenek was held out as a precaution after sustaining a minor shoulder injury over the weekend against Georgia. His SEC-best hit streak remains at 19 games.
- Tim Rowe was fantastic in Olenek's stead, going 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored, as well as an incredible run-saving catch while crashing into the right field wall.
- Michael Fitzsimmons added two his resume of clutch pinch hitting. He smashed a pinch-hit grand slam earlier this season against Texas A&M and added a two-RBI double coming off the bench to give Ole Miss the lead in the ninth.
- Thomas Dillard tallied his ninth home run of the season, a team-high. The Rebels have hit two out at Trustmark Park this season after not having hit one at the Double-A park since 2010.
- Will Golsan ended a 10-game hit streak. He walked twice and has reached base in 11 straight games.

 

 

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