STARKVILLE, Miss. – An uncharacteristic first inning that featured two walks and three hit batters proved to be too much to overcome for the Rebels on Sunday as No. 18 Ole Miss (28-16, 10-11 SEC) fell to Mississippi State (27-17, 10-11 SEC) by a score of 4-2 in the series finale.
In what was an odd game all-around, the Rebels out-hit the Bulldogs 8-2 but didn’t score until the eighth inning, while Mississippi State scored all four runs in the first inning with only one hit.
The Bulldogs finished the day with only two hits for the game.
“It’s disappointing and a game we really gave away in the first inning,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We hit has many people with pitches in the first as we have hit in a month (combined).
“We weren’t able to do much at the plate,” Bianco said. “We got some leadoff doubles and then weren’t able to get them home. There aren’t many games where you only give up two hits, commit no errors and lose.”
Tanner Bailey (1-1) suffered the loss in his first Southeastern Conference start, allowing four runs on one hit with two walks. He did not record an out before leaving the game just days after working a perfect 4.0 innings in a start at Memphis.
Luis Pollorena (3-0) picked up the win as he held the Rebels scoreless, but allowed four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in 5.1 innings of work. Caleb Reed then picked up his eighth save of the season, allowing two runs on four hits with a strikeout over the final 3.2 innings.
Mississippi State struck first, loading the bases with no outs on a walk, a single and a hit batter. A second walk pushed the first run home and Ole Miss turned to its bullpen for left-hander Dylan Chavez. Chavez got a strikeout in his first batter faced, but hit the second batter to push home a second run and kept the bases loaded. A third hit batter in the next at bat made it 3-0 in favor of Mississippi State.
The Bulldogs then got a sac fly from Wes Rea to make it 4-0 for the home team before the Rebels would get out of the inning with a groundout to second.
Ole Miss got on the board in the eighth inning when Matt Snyder delivered an RBI double off the batters eye in straightaway center field to score Jake Overbey from first. Orvis opened the inning as a pinch hitter, coming up with a single through the right side before Overbey was inserted as a pinch-runner. Snyder’s hit pushed him home to cut the lead to 4-1, but the Rebels couldn’t continue the rally in that half inning.
Zack Kirksey then hit a solo shot to right field to open the ninth and trim the lead to 4-2, but Ole Miss couldn’t get anything more going from there as the Bulldogs claimed the win by two runs.
Ole Miss will return to action on Tuesday with a game against Southern Miss at Trustmark Park in Pearl. It is a makeup of the original game that was rained out on March 20 and will begin at 6:30 p.m. The Rebels will be the visiting team.
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