By Adam Brown
Ole Miss fell to in-state rival Mississippi State University 7-6 (11 innings) on Saturday.
Ole Miss (22-17, 6-12 SEC) rallied late to tie the game and send it to extra-inning baseball in the series finale. The Rebels belted three home runs on the day, and have hit a total of 70 home runs on the season.
Rebels starter Derek Diamond kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard through the first two frames.
Ole Miss jumped out to an early 1-0 advantage on a solo home run by Jacob Gonzalez. Gonzalez has hit a total of 13 bombs on the season.
Mississippi State answered as RJ Yeager came into score on the RBI base knock by Logan Tanner in the third.
The Bulldogs continued to apply pressure in that frame against Diamond with bases loaded and one out. The Rebels starter induced back-to-back outs to end the frame.
Mississippi State took the lead in the fifth on a three-run home run by Hunter Hines to right.
Diamond’s day ended after the home run. The junior worked 4.0 plus innings and surrendered four runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and a walk. Diamond allowed two extra-base knocks on the day a double and the home run.
Ole Miss then turned to its bullpen and brought in Josh Mallitz who quickly closed the door on the Bulldogs by striking out the side.
The Rebels’ right fielder Hayden Leatherwood drew them within a run on a blast over the batter’s eye in center.
Mississippi State quickly answered with a two-run home run by RJ Yeager to left.
Mallitz worked 1.1 allowed two runs on two hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Head coach Mike Bianco then turned to the southpaw Jackson Kimbrell.
In the sixth, Ole Miss loaded the bases with one out and drove in two runs on a walk by TJ McCants and a sac fly by Hayden Leatherwood to cut the score 6-4.
Kimbrell tossed a frame and recorded three strikeouts. Kimbrell turned the ball over to Jack Dougherty. The Rebels closer Brandon Johnson entered in the eighth with two on base and one out.
In the ninth, Gonzalez delivered his second home run of the day a two-run blast to right.
Ole Miss and Mississippi State will meet in Pearl on Tuesday night for the annual Governor’s Cup. The first pitch is set for 6 p.m.