Ole Miss

No. 8 Ole Miss shuts out Alabama; Mississippi State, Southern Miss lose series openers

Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco
Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco

TUSCALOOSA-- In front of a sellout crowd at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, No. 8 Ole Miss shut out Alabama 4-0. A trio of arms combined to pitch the shutout of the Crimson Tide (20-14, 6-7 SEC), giving the Rebels (26-8, 7-6 SEC) their fifth straight SEC victory.

Ole Miss starting pitcher Brady Bramlett (6-2) was electric once again, holding the opposition scoreless for the second straight outing. The redshirt junior tossed six scoreless frames, limiting Alabama to three hits and recording six strikeouts. With the quality start, Bramlett increased his scoreless innings streak to 13.0.

The dynamic duo of Will Stokes and Wyatt Short (6) out of the bullpen completed the shutout. Stokes tossed a scoreless seventh inning, while Short nailed down the game by retiring all six batters in the final two frames. The save was Short's sixth of the season and 19th for this career, passing Scott Bittle for fourth on the Rebels' all-time saves list.

Ole Miss scored four runs on five hits, breaking open a 1-0 ballgame with a three-run ninth. Tate Blackman and Errol Robinson increased their hitting streaks to nine and seven games, respectively. Blackman crossed the plate twice on the evening.

Alabama starter Geoffrey Bramblett (3-2) was the hard-luck loser on one unearned run through 7.0 innings. The Crimson Tide ace limited the Rebels to just two hits and struck out eight. Leadoff hitter Chandler Avant tallied two of the only four hits Alabama was able to record off Ole Miss pitching.

After a scoreless first two innings, the Rebels scored in an unusual way in the top of the third, taking advantage of an Alabama miscue. Ryan Olenek singled up the middle to begin the inning before advancing to second on a walk. With one out, Blackman hit a grounder to third, and Olenek found himself in the pickle. After Olenek got caught in the run down, Blackman decided to be aggressive and try to reach second. In an attempt to turn the double play on the base path, third baseman Chance Vincent's throw to second squirted away and into the outfield. Blackman continued to round the bases and crossed the plate on the two-base error, giving Ole Miss the early 1-0 lead.

The game remained a pitcher's duel between Bramlett and Bramblett. Both starters limited the opposition to just two hits through the first five innings. In the bottom of the sixth, the Crimson Tide loaded the bases with one out. However, Bramlett remained calm under pressure and struck out back-to-back UA hitters to end the threat. Keeping Alabama off the board, the Ole Miss ace made sure the Rebels maintained a one-run advantage through six frames.

In the seventh, Stokes continued the trend of throwing up a zero on the scoreboard. The sophomore retired the first two batters before two Alabama hitters reached base. Nonetheless, a flyout to right-center field ended the inning.Short entered the game in the eighth looking to close the door on the Crimson Tide. The lefty recorded two strikeouts in his first inning of work.

The Rebels added a little breathing room with three runs in the ninth. Blackman led off the inning with a double to the right-center gap and advanced to third on a deep flyball by Colby Bortles to left field. Trailing by one, Alabama brought its infield in for a play at the plate, and that's exactly what happened. Henri Lartigue hit a groundball to second, but Blackman beat the throw home to put Ole Miss up 2-0. After both Rebels were safe on the play, Golsan doubled to put two runners in scoring position for Holt Perdzock. The senior pinch hitter did his job as a groundout to first plated Lartigue. Robinson kept the rally going with an RBI single to increase the cushion to four runs.

No. 3 Texas A&M 10, No. 2 Mississippi State 3: A big ninth inning by the No. 3 Texas A&M baseball team put a damper on the opening night of Super Bulldog Weekend.After closing within a run, No. 8 Mississippi State allowed a six-run ninth inning, falling 10-3 in Southeastern Conference action before a crowd of 10,032 - the 40th time in program history for 10K or better at Dudy Noble Field.

MSU fell to 24-10-1 and 8-5 in league play, while Texas A&M moved to 27-7 and 8-5. The teams are tied for the SEC Western Division lead.

After MSU closed within 4-3, Nick Banks delivered the big blow with a grand slam for the Aggies. Banks finished with three hits, including a pair of doubles.

Texas A&M scored in the top half of the first inning but MSU answered. Jake Mangum singled, advanced on a hit by Nathaniel Lowe and scored on a sacrifice fly by Gavin Collins.

Cody Brown and Mangum had hits in the second inning. The Bulldogs grabbed a 2-1 lead on a wild pitch.

Texas A&M then grabbed a 3-2 lead on a two-run home run by Hunter Melton in the fourth inning. The Aggies ran the lead to 4-2 an inning later.

The Bulldogs then found something in the eighth inning, beginning with a Reid Humphreys' single. Cody Brown was later hit by a pitch and Brent Rooker followed with an RBI-single. Brown was stranded at third base but the Bulldogs had pulled within one.

A difficult ninth inning for MSU then followed. The Aggies had a hit batsman, infield hit and fielder's choice sacrifice to load the bases. A bases-loaded hit batsman preceded Banks' blast.

MSU collected 10 hits. Mangum had three of the 10, while Lowe and Rooker each had two hits.

UAB 5, No. 18 Southern Miss 3: Jared Nixon hit for the cycle to lift UAB to a Conference USA baseball victory over No. 18 Southern Miss at Young Memorial Field. The Golden Eagles (26-8, 11-2) had a 10-game C-USA contest winning streak snapped as the Blazers collected a season-high 16 hits in the contest, notching at least one in every inning. Besides Nixon's four hits, six different Blazers collected two hits each.

Southern Miss, though, jumped out to an early advantage with three runs in the fourth.

Tim Lynch opened the frame by bunting his way on. After a single to right by Tracy Hadley, Hunter Slater walked to load the bases, before Michael Gilbert, who led the Golden Eagles with two hits, singled in a pair of runs before Storme Cooper finished the scoring on a sacrifice fly.

The Blazers (13-21, 5-8) tied the score with three runs in the fifth. Nixon started things with a solo homer, his first of the year, before Carter Pharis added an RBI triple and Riley McCown added a run-scoring single to tie the game.

Nixon then tripled home a run two innings later and UAB added an RBI single from Adam Smith in the seventh.

Walker Powell, in relief of Cord Cockrell who gave up three runs on 11 hits with a strikeout over five innings, suffered the loss as he gave up two runs on four hits and three strikeouts over 1 2/3 innings to fall to 3-1.

UAB reliever Garrett Whitlock gave up two hits and a walk with a pair of strikeouts over 1 2/3 innings to collect the victory and improve to 3-3. Thomas Lowery threw the final two frames to garner his fifth save of the year.