PEARL, Miss. – Luke Alexander was the hero again, as he secured his second consecutive walk-off hit against No. 6 Ole Miss and the Diamond Dawgs walked away with a 7-6 non-conference win in the annual Governor’s Cup battle at Trustmark Park.
Last time the two programs faced each other, on April 8, Alexander hit a two-run, walk-off home run to down the Rebels 7-5. Tuesday night, Alexander hit a walk-off double that scored two runs and gave State its third consecutive Governor’s Cup victory over Ole Miss. The Diamond Dawgs have now won eight of the last nine games in the overall series.
With the win, State improves to 23-19 (8-10 SEC), while Ole Miss drops to 32-10 (10-8 SEC).
The Battle between the rivals was back and forth, as the two programs traded leads five times throughout the game.
Ole Miss got on the board first after Tim Rowe doubled and scored Chase Cockrell in the top of the third inning. The Dawgs quickly answered with a pair of runs in their half of the frame to take a 2-1 lead. Marshall Gilbert started the inning off with a one-out single. Rowdey Jordan then hit a double to put runners on second and third base. Jake Mangum then scored both runs with a double down the left field line.
The Rebels regained the lead in the top of the fourth inning when Thomas Dillard hit a two-run home run and gave them a 3-2 lead.
Elijah MacNamee’s RBI ground-rule double in the bottom of the fourth knotted things up at three runs apiece before Ole Miss took the lead again in the fifth inning from a sac-fly by Jacob Adams that scored Rowe. The Rebels held the lead through the top of the sixth inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, the game was all tied again after Gilbert hit a home run down the left field line and made it a 4-4 game.
In the bottom of the eighth inning Tanner Allen tripled and scored on a sac-fly by Jordan Westburg to make it 5-4, but once again Ole Miss would tie it up before taking a 6-5 lead on a Michael Fitzsimmons double.
In the bottom half of the ninth, Gilbert singled and took second base on a sacrifice bunt by Jordan, which brought Jake Mangum to bat, but the Rebels wisely intentionally walked Mangum. Alexander then followed with a double that scored two runs and secured a 7-5 win over the Rebels.
State finished with nine hits, three of which are credited to Gilbert. Ole Miss finished with 10 hits.
Denver McQuary drew the start on the mound and pitched five innings. He allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits. He finished with three strikeouts and two walks.
Keegan James, Zach Neff, JP France, Blake Smith and Cole Gordon also pitched for MSU.
Gordon (3-2) is credited with the win after he got the only batter he faced out.
The Rebels starter, Jordan Fowler, pitched 3.1 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and striking out two batters.
Parker Caracci (2-2) is charged with the loss after allowing the final two runs of the game.
State will be back at Dudy Noble Field this weekend for a three-game Southeastern Conference match against Texas A&M. The series will begin Friday with a 6:30 p.m. start on SEC Network+.