OXFORD, Miss. – The Mississippi State baseball team kept its win streak alive Saturday afternoon.
Behind a splendid pitching effort from Jake Mangum, Cole Gordon, Graham Ashcraft, Riley Self and Spencer Price, Mississippi State completed a three-game Southeastern Conference series sweep of arch rival Ole Miss with a 2-1 victory at Swayze Field.
MSU won all three games played in Oxford for the first time since 2003. The Bulldogs had already clinched the series with a 4-3 win Friday and a 5-3 victory Saturday. MSU won its seventh straight contest and made it back-to-back series sweeps in league play.
MSU is now 19-10 overall and 6-3 in league play, while Ole Miss fell to 16-12 and 3-6.
“What a weekend that was,” head coach Andy Cannizaro said. “It was a great weekend for baseball in this state. The crowds were great and there was so much energy in the ballpark. We won three games and we did it in three different ways. It was just an outstanding weekend all around for this team.”
The Bulldogs allowed two hits in the first inning and the Rebels did not collect another hit until picking up two more in the ninth inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Brent Rooker made a diving stab of a ground ball and raced to the bag for the final out of Price’s ninth save, with three of those coming in this series.
Starting pitcher Jake Mangum (2-2) threw five innings and left after a leadoff walk in the sixth inning broke up a string of 10 straight retired batters. After that walk, seven straight Rebels were retired. The five Bulldog hurlers allowed four hits and four walks, while striking out five.
“Our pitching was incredible,” Cannizaro said. “The bullpen contributed. We got lifts from so many different guys. At the end, Riley and Spencer are doing a great job of closing things out. They are pitching with so much confidence. Every inning, we were in tight spots.”
Ole Miss built a 1-0 lead in the first inning. The Bulldogs then got all of the offense they would need by scoring single runs in the third and fourth innings.
In the third inning, Josh Lovelady and Mangum had singles before Rooker slapped an RBI-double to right field. In the fourth inning, Cody Brown doubled, took third on a sacrifice and scored on a sacrifice fly hit by Lovelady.
MSU finished with nine hits. Brown had three hits, while Rooker had two hits.
Colby Bortles had two hits for Ole Miss. Starting pitcher Ryan Rolison (3-1) worked six innings and took the loss.