OXFORD, Miss. – Will Allen hit his second home run in as many days in the early stages of what looked to be a back and forth battle, but the Bulldogs pulled away late as Ole Miss (27-23, 11-15 SEC) fell to Mississippi State (32-18, 13-13 SEC) by a score of 7-4 on Friday night.
The two teams will close out the weekend series at 7 p.m. on Saturday night at Oxford-University Stadium on Senior Night for the Rebels. Seven seniors will be honored prior to the game as they play their final conference game at Swayze Field.
David Goforth (4-7) suffered the loss for the Rebels as he allowed five runs on seven hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work.
Nick Routt (2-2) picked up the win as allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 5.1 innings of work. Caleb Reed grabbed his 11th save of the season and second in the series as he entered the game in the ninth with two men on base and the tying run on deck and got the Bulldogs out of the inning with a double play and a ground out in back-to-back batters.
“Mississippi State was able to grind out the bats and get big hits,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “The timely hit is so important and they got those. We weren’t able to get the big hits that we needed. I thought David Goforth was terrific tonight; he got himself in some tough situations but was able to get out f them. Again, they just got big timely hits.”
The Bulldogs got on the board in the third inning, opening the frame with back-to-back singles before a sac bunt from C.T. Bradford put both men in running position. A groundout to first and a single to third drove in two runs and Mississippi State held a 2-0 lead.
The Rebels tied things up in the fourth when Will Allen hit his second home run of the series, a two-run shot that scored Matt Snyder, to even the score at two. Snyder reached when he was hit by a pitch with one out before Allen came up with the two-out home run.
Mississippi State moved back into the lead in the fifth, pushing a single run home on a single to center from Ryan Collins that scored Jonathan Ogden. Ogden doubled to open the inning and set up the score on the Collins single.
Again the Rebels had an answer, scoring in the bottom of the fifth with a sacrifice fly on a pop up to shallow left field from Blake Newalu with the bases loaded. Ole Miss would load the bases twice in the inning, but only come away with one run as the Bulldogs used the sac fly and a pair of foul fly outs to get out of the jam with the score tied at three.
Mississippi State would go on to add a pair of runs in the sixth inning to take the lead out to 5-3 before using two more runs in the eighth to extend the lead to four runs at 7-3.
Ole Miss would put together the makings of another rally in the ninth, using a walk of Anderson, a wild pitch and then a single from Tanner Mathis to put men at the corners with no outs. The Rebels would then hit into a double play and ground out to first to end the inning with only one run coming home as Mississippi State claimed the 7-4 win.
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