Southern Miss

No. 18 Southern Miss rallies past eighth-ranked Ole Miss; No. 8 Mississippi State downs Memphis

Southern Miss coach Scott Berry
Southern Miss coach Scott Berry

OXFORD-- No. 18 Southern Miss broke open a deadlock game with three runs in the eighth en route to a 5-1 non-conference baseball victory over No. 8 Ole Miss Wednesday evening at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.

The win for the Golden Eagles (26-7) was the third in a row over the Rebels in Oxford and the 10th in the last 12 games in the series. It also marked the fourth consecutive win for the Golden Eagles.

Tim Lynch, Hunter Slater and Michael Gilbert each tied their career hit totals for a game as the Golden Eagles collected 12 in the contest. Lynch led the way with four singles, while Slater added three and Gilbert tallied two doubles in the affair. It also marked the 15th time in the last 17 games that Southern Miss achieved double-digit hits.

With the score tied at 1-1 in the seventh, Lynch led off the frame with a single. After a fielder's choice to erase Lynch at second, Slater singled. Gilbert then doubled to left-center to give the Golden Eagles the lead as pinch runner J.C. Keys scored just ahead of the throw.

Chuckie Robinson then earned an intentional walk to load the bases and Storme Cooper knocked in a runs with a single before Nick Dawson completed the scoring with a sacrifice fly to leftfield.

Southern Miss added a solo run in the ninth as Slater knocked in his second run with a single.

The game remained scoreless for the first five frames, before the Golden Eagles jumped out to a 1-0 advantage. Jake Sandlin, who collected two hits in the contest, led off the frame with a double to right-center. Tim Lynch followed with a single to right to put runners at the corners.

After a flyout by Chase Scott, Slater singled to left-center to knock home Sandlin.

The Rebels (25-8) tied the score in the seventh on a double by J.B. Woodman.

Cody Livingston, the fourth of five Golden Eagle pitchers, allowed a hit and fanned a batter getting a pair of outs to earn the victory and improve to 2-0. Freshman left-hander Stevie Powers put together a solid start not allowing a run over 4 1/3 innings, giving up four hits and two walks with three strikeouts.

Nick Sandlin threw the final two innings for Southern Miss and allowed a hit and walk with two strikeouts as he tallied his sixth save of the year.

Matt Denny, the fourth of eight pitchers for Ole Miss, got tagged with the loss falling to 0-1 as he gave up a run on a hit and recorded a strikeout for his only out of the contest.

No. 8 Mississippi State 11, Memphis 1: Using a trio of home runs from Brent Rooker, Gavin Collins and Luke Alexander, Mississippi State cruised passed Memphis at Dudy Noble Field. With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 24-9-1 and turn their focus to Texas A&M for a three-game series on Super Bulldog Weekend.

"I felt like our kids came and threw strikes for the most part. We handled some defensive sequences and we got some timely hitting throughout the course of the game," MSU head coach John Cohen said. "We're pleased with the effort. This is a tune up we need going in to a weekend like Texas A&M."

Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning, Rooker sailed a 2-run home run over the left field wall to give the Bulldogs the lead for the remainder of the game.

MSU extended its lead to 4-1 in the third inning. After an Elih Marerro single and a Nathaniel Lowe double, Reid Humphreys hit his SEC-leading 15th double of the season to drive in a pair of runs.

The Bulldogs struck again in the fifth inning when Collins blasted a two-out solo home run. Humphreys continued the offense with a single, and Cole Gordon and Rooker drew back-to-back hit by pitches. Ryan Gridley then roped a 2-RBI single through the left side to give MSU a 7-1 lead.

"Situationally, (Gridley) understands his role. He has been so productive and it's hard to get him out of that part of the order," Cohen said. "He's done such a great job with two outs. We're proud of how far he has come in one year as a player."

Rooker and Gridley each drove in a pair of runs in the seventh to increase the lead to 9-1. Collins and Humphreys drew a pair of walks to start the inning. After Hunter Stovall reached on a fielder's choice, Rooker drilled an RBI double to score Humphreys and Gridley used a one-out sacrifice fly to bring home Stovall.

Rooker and Gridley each tallied three RBIs for the evening.

"It's really important to our club to have (Rooker) going. I think he's a lot more confident and seeing it pretty well right now," Cohen said "For us to be as good as we need to be, Brent Rooker has got to be in the middle of it."

Luke Alexander capped the MSU scoring in the eighth inning to set the 11-1 final. Lowe ripped a two-out single through the right side before Alexander sent a pinch-hit bomb over the left field wall for his second home run of his Bulldog career.

The three Bulldog dingers mark the sixth multi-home run game of the season.

Humphreys and Lowe also recorded multi-hit nights. Humphreys collected three hits and drove in three runs and scored twice, while Lowe went 2-for-4 at the dish and plated a pair of runs.