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No. 19 Rebels Stunned By MSU 4-3

Photo by Paul Keelaghan
No. 19 Ole Miss jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but four unanswered runs gave Mississippi State game one of the rivalry series, 4-3, Thursday night at Swayze Field. The Bulldogs (17-10, 4-3 SEC) plated three runs in the seventh before scoring on a passed ball in the ninth to shock the Rebels (16-10, 3-4 SEC).
Tate Blackman went 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBI, reaching base four of the five times he stepped up to the plate. Freshman Thomas Dillard added an RBI double, breaking a scoreless tie in the fourth. On the mound, James McArthur pitched 6.2 innings, allowing two runs on four hits to go along with five strikeouts. Will Ethridge (1-2) was saddled with the tough luck loss, giving up an unearned run in 1.2 innings of relief.
MSU leadoff hitter Jake Mangum tallied two hits and two runs to lead the visitors. Brent Rooker knocked in a pair of runs on a double as well. In 2.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen, Riley Self (4-0) earned the victory.
The game began as a battle of SEC aces with each starting pitcher keeping the opposing team off the scoreboard through the first three innings. After McArthur tossed another scoreless frame in the fourth, Ole Miss took a 1-0 lead thanks to a double to left by Dillard as Blackman scored from second base.
One inning later, it was Blackman knocking in a pair of runs to grow the Rebels’ advantage. Cooper Johnson walked, and Will Golsan took a pitch for the team to reach base. With two outs, Blackman found the gap in right-center field. The ball rolled all the way to the wall, and as Johnson and Golsan crossed the plate, Blackman slid safely into third for a triple. The big two-out hit made it 3-0 in favor of Ole Miss.
After six scoreless innings, MSU got to McArthur in the seventh to lift the Ole Miss starter from the game. With two Bulldogs on base, Rooker doubled to left to clear the bases. Following an intentional walk, Cole Gordon tied the game with a pinch-hit single through the right side of the infield. Rooker barely beat the throw to the plate, tying the game at 3-3.
The Bulldogs took advantage of an Ole Miss miscue to grab the lead in the top of the ninth. With Dallas Woolfolk on the mound, the Rebels nearly turned a double play to get out of the inning. However, the batter reached first safely to keep the inning alive and place runners on the corners with two outs. Woolfolk did what he needed to do, striking out the next hitter that would have ended the inning; however, a passed ball on the swinging strike three brought the runner in from home and gave MSU the extra out it needed to take its first lead of the game.
With game turned on its head and MSU taking the lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, Ole Miss continued to fight by getting the tying run to third and the potential winning run to second base. However, the Bulldogs relied on closer Spencer Price (7) to get them out of the jam and hold on for the win.
The Rebels will look to even the series tomorrow night at 6 p.m. CT. David Parkinson will get the start for Ole Miss, and the game will be nationally televised on SEC Network.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports<|em>

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