Ole Miss

Ole Miss avoids sweep; Southern Miss pounds Charlotte

 Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco.
OLE MISS Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco.

STARKVILLE-- Catcher Henri Lartigue went 3-for-5 with two runs and a career-high three RBI to lead No. 11 Ole Miss past No. 5 Mississippi State, 8-5, Sunday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field. Third baseman Colby Bortles knocked in three runs and made numerous plays with his glove to help the Rebels (21-7, 3-6 SEC) claim the series finale over the rival Bulldogs (20-8-1, 6-3 SEC).

Wyatt Short (2-1) tossed four innings of relief to earn the victory. David Parkinson retired all three batters he faced in relief, while Will Stokes (3) finished things out on the mound for his third save of the season.

Along with big days from Lartigue and Bortles, Errol Robinson went 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run. Tate Blackman also tallied a hit to reach base for the 14th straight game. As a team, the Ole Miss bats knocked 10 hits.

MSU had multi-hit days from three Bulldogs, including Gavin Collins and Nathaniel Lowe who belted home runs in the eighth. Mississippi State used six pitchers throughout the contest, and Ryan Rigby (3-1) suffered the loss in four innings of work.

Ole Miss scored runs in the first two innings to take the early lead. The first inning continued to be the Rebels' most successful frame of the season as a Bortles RBI single scored Ryan Olenek from second base. In the bottom half, Sean Johnson sent the Bulldogs down in order.

Leading off the second, Lartigue left the yard with a solo blast to left field, doubling the lead to two. Base hits by Michael Fitzsimmons and J.B. Woodman helped load the bases and force MSU starting pitcher Daniel Brown out of the game. However, Rigby worked a groundball double play to end the inning. After the Bulldogs escaped the big inning, MSU catcher Elih Marrero doubled in a pair of runs to tie the game at 2-2 after two.

Bortles broke the tie in the top of the fifth with his second hit of the game. With one out and two Rebels in scoring position, the junior third baseman roped a single to left field. Olenek easily scored, and Blackman rolled in from second, beating the throw to the plate. Ole Miss maintained the 4-2 lead after Short worked out of a jam in the bottom half of the frame. Two hits brought the go-ahead run to the plate, but the southpaw sent a Bulldog down on strikes before picking off another at second to complete the inning.

The Rebels added another run in the sixth. Robinson doubled down the left field line before using heads-up base running to sneak into third on a ball in the dirt. With one out and Robinson 90 feet away from home, the Bulldogs brought their infield in to try and prevent another run from scoring. However, on a Cameron Dishon chopper to the shortstop, Robinson slid under the tag to increase the margin to three, 5-2.

Lartigue nearly homered from both sides of the plate but had to settle for a ground-rule double as a lefty in the top of the eighth. The catcher advanced to third on a balk before scoring on a Robinson infield single. Robinson raced down the line to beat the throw to first and bump the Ole Miss cushion to four runs.

After keeping MSU off the board for four straight innings, Short left the game after two home runs cut the lead to a single run, 6-5. With no outs in the inning, Parkinson retired three straight hitters to end the inning and keep the Rebels in front.

Ole Miss, coached by Mike Bianco, used two insurance runs in the ninth to get a little breathing room. Two walks and a hit by pitch loaded the bases, and Lartigue delivered once again. His third hit of the day, a single to left field, plated a pair of Rebels to bring the score to 8-5. Stokes came in to seal the deal, shutting the door on the Bulldogs to complete the rivalry win.

Southern Miss 16, Charlotte 6: Tim Lynch collected a career-high four hits and Dylan Burdeaux notched a career-best five runs batted in to lead Southern Miss over Charlotte in eight innings at Hayes Field Sunday to complete the three-game sweep.

The Golden Eagles (22-7 overall, 8-1 Conference-USA) won for the 18th time in the last 19 regular-season league games while winning their sixth consecutive league series - including sweeps the last two weekends - dating back to last season.

Lynch's four hits led a season-high 17 hits for the Golden Eagles as Burdeaux added three, along with two each from Tracy Hadley, Chase Scott, Storme Cooper and Nick Dawson.

Southern Miss scored in just four different innings in the game, overcoming a 4-1 deficit to after three innings. Charlotte (12-16, 3-6) scored three runs in the first off of Golden Eagle starter Kirk McCarty and added one more in the third.

The visitors, though, took the lead for good with a five-run fourth inning.

After a leadoff walk to Lynch, Chase Scott and Daniel Keating singled to load the bases. Jake Sandlin's groundout to first knocked in the first run. Following a strikeout, Storme Cooper singled home a pair of runs over the second baseman's head and Burdeaux, who knocked in the Golden Eagles' first run in the third on a fielder's choice, tripled in two more runs off the centerfield wall.

Southern Miss then added six more runs in the sixth as Burdeaux started the scoring with a two-run double, before Hadley drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Lynch tallied a RBI with a single. Scott completed the scoring with a two-run homer to left, his fifth of the year.

The Golden Eagles completed their scoring barrage with four in the eighth which allowed them to 10-run rule the 49ers.

After Dawson and Burdeaux lead off the innings with singles, Hadley drove in a run with a single and Lynch then knocked in two more with a double. The final run scored on a grounder that the second baseman threw wild of first base.Jake Winston, the second of four Golden Eagle pitchers garnered the victory to improve to 2-0, allowing two runs on two hits, with a walk and a strikeout over 3 1/3 innings.