STARKVILLE, Miss. –Alex Yarbrough led the offense on the night, going 3-for-4 at the plate and extending his active hitting streak to 21 games, but the Rebels couldn’t get a run home as No. 18 Ole Miss (27-15, 9-10 SEC) fell to Mississippi State (26-16, 9-10 SEC) by a score of 4-0 on Friday night.
Ole Miss and Mississippi State matched each other for hits, both tallying five, but the Bulldogs took advantage of a pair of Rebel fielding errors to plate three unearned runs on the way to the win.
Bobby Wahl (5-1) suffered his first loss of the season, allowing three runs – one earned – on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work.
Chris Stratton (8-0) picked up the win, pitching a complete game and allowing five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts on the night.
“Stratton was tremendous for them tonight,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “He gave us very little opportunity tonight outside of the first inning and the ninth inning. He pitched great. But, I think Bobby Wahl pitched pretty well himself. Mississippi State was able to get a couple of hits with runners in scoring position and took advantage of their opportunities created by a couple of fielding errors.”
Mississippi State scored first, plating an unearned run on a fielding error at short with two outs in the third. Adam Frazier reached on a single to left field before moving to third on a wild pitch. Mitch Slauter then hit a ground ball to short that was bobbled, allowing the run to score instead of ending the inning. Back-to-back singles from the next two batters pushed a second run home before the Rebels would get out of the inning down 2-0.
The Bulldogs built on the lead in the fifth, using a single to right from Slauter to score Sam Frost from second. Frazier reached on a walk before moving to second on a sac bunt from Frazier. At the end of five, Mississippi State led the Rebels 3-0.
Another unearned run in the seventh inning pushed the Mississippi State lead out to 4-0, as Hunter Renfroe scored on a double to left center from Brent Brownlee. Renfroe reached on a fielding error at third before advancing to second on a balk to set up the score on the Brownlee hit.
Ole Miss would threaten in the ninth, getting two men on with one out, but a grounder to short that resulted in a double play ended the potential Rebel rally and the game.
The Rebels and Bulldogs will take the field for game two of the series at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Dudy Noble Field. The game will be televised by SportSouth.
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