Mississippi State

Third-ranked Mississippi State wins SEC regular-season title; No. 6 Ole Miss avoids sweep

Mississippi State coach John Cohen.
Mississippi State coach John Cohen.

STARKVILLE-- Third-ranked Mississippi State defeated Arkansas 9-4 on Saturday at Dudy Noble Field to clinch the SEC regular-season baseball championship.

The Bulldogs won their 11th SEC baseball crown, but first since 1989.

MSU (39-14-1, 21-9 SEC) will be the top seed in next week's SEC Tournament and earned a first-round bye.

Bulldogs coach John Cohen played on the team's 1989 championship squad.

Catcher Jake Kruger had three hits and two RBI for MSU. Jake Mangum and Jacob Robson also had three hits

Gavin Collins and Brent Rooker each had RBI for the Bulldogs.

Clark Eagan hit a homer for Arkansas.

Ryan Rigby (5-1) got the win, in relief of former East Central standout Konnor Pilkington, who started the series' finale. Rigby struck out six. Pilkington last two innings.

The Bulldogs also won the series' first two games.

No. 6 Ole Miss 3, No. 2 Texas A&M 2: Fighting off a two and a half hour rain delay at No. 2 Texas A&M, No. 6 Ole Miss earned a hard-fought victory in the regular season finale at Blue Bell Park. With the victory, the Rebels (40-16, 18-12 SEC) tied a school record for wins in a regular season with 40.

Ole Miss starter Chad Smith went 4.0 innings, allowing one run on three hits and four walks. With the majority of the bullpen available, the Rebels had the luxury of bringing in Will Stokes early in the game. The sophomore went 3.1 innings, a season-long outing for the reliever, and allowed just one run on three hits. Junior Wyatt Short nailed down the game without giving up a run in the final 1.2 innings. Short earned his 11th save of the year and 24th of his career.

Tate Blackman led the Rebels at the plate and in the field. The second baseman went 2-for-4 with a double and also helped Ole Miss turn a pair of big double plays. J.B. Woodman scored each time he reached base for a team-high two runs. As a team, Ole Miss tallied seven hits on the evening.

J.B. Moss had three hits to lead the Aggies (41-13, 20-10 SEC) in the loss. The Rebels got all three runs on seven hits off starter Kyle Simonds (8-3). Mark Ecker tossed four innings of relief in a quality outing.

The Rebels struck first with a run in the top of the second. Woodman started the scoring frame with a single before stealing second to get into scoring position. An opposite-field base hit by Henri Lartigue placed Rebels on the corners, and Ryan Olenek singled up the middle to score Woodman. Texas A&M tried to respond in the bottom of the inning by getting the first two runners on base. However, Smith used a pair of ground balls to get three outs, including a smooth 6-4-3 double play to keep Ole Miss in front 1-0.

Ole Miss doubled its lead with another run in the fourth. After a single, Blackman was thrown out at second on a fielder's choice by Woodman, who advanced to second as the attempted double play ball sailed into the Rebels' dugout. Woodman moved to third on a Lartigue groundout before scoring on a Colby Bortles infield single to shortstop. With the ball hit deep in the hole at short, Bortles showed some speed to leg out the single and give the Rebels a 2-0 cushion.