In rivalry baseball fans want to see two teams battle it out.
In Starkville, Miss. on Saturday that’s exactly what fans witnessed. As Mississippi State rallied to score four runs in the bottom of the tenth inning to defeat Ole Miss by the score of 6-5.
The win for the Bulldogs was in front of the NCAA record largest on-campus crowd of 15,586 to watch a baseball game.
No. 13 Ole Miss (27-9, 8-6 SEC) fell behind early in the game by giving up one run to State in the first inning. Seth Heck came home to score off of a sacrifice fly by Wes Rea. The Bulldogs scratched for one more run in the third.
Coach Mike Bianco had this to say after the game:
“That was a disappointing ending to the game,” said coach Bianco. “We played hard today and it made it tougher when they got into their bullpen with Lindgren and Holder. We kind of weathered that and Christian (Trent) gave us a chance to win with his performance. It was huge to have both (Scott) Weathersby and (Josh) Laxer get us out of jams.
“It was just disappointing because we had the game,” he added
The Rebels starter Christen Trent held MSU to those two runs until he left the game in the bottom of the seventh.
Ole Miss tied the game in the fifth inning as Preston Overbey singled. Braxton Lee and Auston Bousfield delivered back-to-back hits to load the bases. The Bulldogs pitcher threw a wild-pitch to the back stop, which allowed the first Rebel run.
Austin Anderson hit a single which allowed Lee to come in and score.
Both teams would have trouble getting their runners in scoring position home. Each pitching staff and defenses dug in. Opposition runners on second or third died there as Rebel and Bulldog pitchers craftily found ways to get out of the jams through the ninth inning.
Once the tenth inning began, the fireworks started. Sikes Orvis hit a two- run home run which gave Ole Miss there first lead of the game. The Rebels added one more run in the frame and victory seemed to be in their hands.
Josh Laxer took a 5-2 led into the bottom of the tenth and State found a way to put together key hits to score four runs and tie the series as defensive miscues and timely hitting led the way to a wild victory celebration and some long Rebel faces.
The rubber game in the series is Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and can be heard on the Ole Miss baseball network.
–Adam Brown, HottyToddy.com, sports editor
Photos by Andy Knef, HottyToddy.com editor