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Big 7th Inning Lifts No. 5 Mississippi State Baseball Past No. 11 Ole Miss

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MSU improves to 41-10.

Hail State Pics/Mississippi State Athletics

OXFORD, Miss. — No. 5 Mississippi State baseball’s six runs in the top of the seventh inning proved to be the difference Saturday night, as the Dawgs sealed the Southeastern Conference series with an 8-5 win over No. 11 Ole Miss at Swayze Field.

With the win, MSU improves to 41-10 (17-9 SEC), while Ole Miss falls to 32-19 (15-11 SEC).

Offensively, five State hitters recorded RBIs, with sophomores Tanner Allen and Rowdey Jordan leading the squad with two RBIs on 1-for-5 hitting. Senior Jake Mangum was responsible for an RBI on 2-for-5 hitting with sophomore Jordan Westburg and junior Gunner Halter accounting for the other two RBIs.

A sluggish bottom of the first inning saw State go down 2-0. After two quick ground outs, sophomore Tyler Keenan singled to left center and advanced to second on a fielding error. A walk to junior Thomas Dillard put two runners on base for the Rebels before back-to-back RBI singles from juniors Cole Zabowski and Cooper Johnson scored the pair of runs.

MSU got a run in the top of the third inning after Mangum drew a bases loaded walk to make it 2-1. State got another run in the fourth inning to knot things up at 2-2 when Senior Elijah MacNamee hit a double down the left field line and scored on an RBI ground out from Jordan.

Ole Miss scored a run in the bottom of the fifth inning to regain the lead at 3-2. Keenan struck out, but was able to reach first on a passed ball. A single from Dillard moved him up to third before a wild pitch scored him. A pair of one-out singles from Ole Miss’ Kevin Graham and Jacob Adams put runners on the corners before a fielder’s choice RBI gave the Rebels a 4-2 lead after the sixth inning.

MSU’s big seventh inning began with a leadoff double from junior Dustin Skelton. Halter followed up with an RBI double to center field to cut the deficit to 4-3. After senior Marshall Gilbert drew a walk, Mangum came through with an RBI single through the right side to tie things up. Westburg then drew a walk before a two-RBI single from Allen gave the Dawgs a 6-4 lead. State would add onto its lead with a two-RBI single from Jordan to give State a commanding 8-4 lead.

Ole Miss got a run back in the bottom half of the seventh when Keenan drew a leadoff walk and came around to score on an RBI double from Zabowski, but that was all, as the Dawgs won their seventh SEC series win.

Freshman right-hander JT Ginn got the start on the mound and tossed 4 23 innings to earn a no-decision. He allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits. He fanned five batters and walked three. Redshirt-junior Trysten Barlow got the final out of the fifth with a strikeout.

Junior Riley Self (2-0) earned the win after tossing 1 13 innings where he allowed two runs on two hits. He struck out a pair of batters and walked one.

Junior Jack Eagan and freshman Brandon Smith each got an out apiece to finish the seventh. Junior Colby White then threw a three-strikeout eighth inning before graduate student Cole Gordon pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn his ninth save on the year.

Junior right-hander Austin Miller (4-1) was charged with the Rebel loss after coming into the game in the seventh inning. He failed to get an out and allowed four runs on three hits.

State will look for the sweep on Sunday at noon at Swayze Field. The game will be televised by ESPN2.