Baseball Drops Midweek Meeting with MSU
(This article is courtesy of Ole Miss Media Relations.)
(Click here for box score.)
PEARL, Miss. – No. 17 Ole Miss struck first in the battle for the Governor’s Cup at Trustmark Park, but No. 8 Mississippi State took over late in an 8-1 win, its fourth straight in the yearly non-conference meeting between the Rebels and Bulldogs.
Starter Zack Phillips looked sharp early, working through the first inning with just one baserunner allowed on a walk. Likewise, the Rebels were retired in order by Peyton Plumlee in the bottom half.
The Rebel lefty worked a one-two-three frame in the second with a pair of groundouts and a flyout. Ole Miss threatened in the bottom half, but ultimately came up empty. Tyler Keenan started it by wearing a pitch. He made his way to third on a pair of groundouts, but a flyout by Kevin Graham ended the frame.
Phillips kept rolling in the third, retiring the first two batters he faced before beaning Jake Mangum. After that hiccup, he went back to work, retiring Jordan Westburg on strikes to escape the inning.
Ole Miss broke through after that when Anthony Servideo recorded the game’s first hit and scampered to second on a wild pitch. Grae Kessinger then roped a double down the left field line to plate the game’s first run and reach base for the 30th consecutive contest.
In the fourth, Phillips kept the MSU offense down once more, retiring three straight Bulldogs with two strikeouts and a groundout. Thomas Dillard singled to left in response, but the Rebels couldn’t bring him home.
After four hitless frames by Phillips, the Bulldogs finally broke through when Rowdey Jordan led off the fifth inning with a game-tying home run. Phillips rebounded after the homer, retiring three straight MSU hitters to escape the inning without further damage.
An error and a walk with one out in the sixth prompted head coach Mike Bianco to dip into his bullpen for the first time in the afternoon, calling on sophomore right-hander Max Cioffi. A single by Elijah MacNamee and a double by Westburg down the right field line made it a 3-1 MSU advantage and brought Austin Miller out of the bullpen. The Bulldogs got one more run on a sacrifice fly before Miller struck out pinch hitter Josh Hatcher on three pitches to escape the inning.
The Bulldogs broke it open in the seventh after a pair of singles and a fielder’s choice, followed by another base hit and a throwing error to bring Houston Roth out of the bullpen with no outs on the board. Roth came in and quickly retired three straight Bulldogs, including back-to-back strikeouts to end the MSU rally.
The Bulldogs added one more run on a Mangum sac fly in the eighth. In the ninth, the Rebels brought on junior right-hander Greer Holston for his first appearance of the season. After a hit batter and a walk to start, he got on track with three straight outs to escape the jam.
Ole Miss returns to action with a key SEC series against No. 6 Texas A&M, starting Thursday at 6 p.m. CT at Swayze Field.
– Ole Miss fell to 27-15 on the season.
– MSU took a 22-18 lead in the Governor’s Cup series.
– Tonight’s Governor’s Cup drew 8,638 fans, a new Trustmark Park record.
– Grae Kessinger extended his streak to 30 straight games reaching base. Kessinger’s streak is the longest since Tanner Mathis reached base in 41 straight contests in 2011.
– In addition to his reached-base streak, Kessinger has hits in 15 of his last 17 games.
– Thomas Dillard has now reached base in 14 straight games.
– After having his 14-game hit streak snapped Saturday at Auburn, Cole Zabowski singled tonight to give him hits in 15 of the last 16 games.
– Anthony Servideo went 2-for-3 for his 12th multi-hit game of the season.
– Junior right-hander Greer Holston made his first appearance of the season.
Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.