OXFORD, Miss. — The Mississippi State baseball team beat Ole Miss 7-6 in 11 innings on Saturday at Swayze Field after senior Brad Cumbest hit a go-ahead home run to win its sixth straight series over the Rebels.
The Bulldogs (24-17, 8-10 SEC) entered the bottom of the ninth inning with a 6-4 lead over the Rebels (22-17, 6-12 SEC), but a two-run home run by sophomore Jacob Gonzalez knotted the game at 6-6 to force extras. After a scoreless 10th inning, Cumbest put MSU ahead for good with a one-out home run in the top of the 11th.
Hits were 11-7 in favor of MSU, with four Bulldogs recording multiple hits. Freshman Hunter Hines was 2-for-6 with a three-run homer, graduate student RJ Yeager was 2-for-5 with a two-run homer and Cumbest was 2-for-5 with a home run. Junior Logan Tanner added a 2-for-4 night at the plate with one RBI and one run.
Gonzalez led Ole Miss with a 2-for-3 effort with three RBIs and two runs, while senior Kevin Graham was 2-for-5 with one run.
Both teams used five pitchers in the contest. For MSU, sophomore Cade Smith started and allowed four runs on four hits with six strikeouts and four walks in 5 1⁄3 innings. Sophomore Jackson Fristoe pitched two innings of relief and allowed one hit with two strikeouts before freshman Pico Kohn struck out two and allowed two runs on two hits. Junior KC Hunt (2-1) earned the win after shutting out the Rebels over the final 2 2⁄3 innings with two strikeouts.
Junior Derek Diamond started for Ole Miss and allowed four runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and one walk in four innings. Senior Brandon Johnson (1-2) was charged with the loss after tossing 3 2⁄3 innings, allowing one hit with seven strikeouts and one walk.
Ole Miss took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on Gonzalez’s home run to right-center field. MSU tied the game in the top of the third inning. Yeager hit a leadoff single through the left side before junior Kamren James reached on a fielding error. A flyout pushed Yeager to third and he scored on Tanner’s RBI single to left field to make it 1-1.
In the top of the fifth inning, senior Luke Hancock hit a leadoff double to left-center before Tanner hit a single. Hines followed with a three-run home run to right-center to give the Bulldogs a 4-1 lead.
The Rebels got a run back in the bottom half of the fifth on a solo home run by senior Hayden Leatherwood to make it 4-2.
Sophomore Lane Forsythe led off the top of the sixth with a single up the middle and Yeager homered to left field to increase MSU’s lead to 6-2.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, senior Tim Elko drew a one-out walk and Graham singled through the right side to put runners on the corners. A walk issued to sophomore Kemp Alderman loaded the bases before sophomore TJ McCants drew a walk to score Elko. A sacrifice fly made it a 6-4 ballgame.
After scoreless seventh and eighth innings, senior Justin Bench hit a one-out single and Gonzalez followed with a two-run home run to right field to tie the game at 6-6.
In the top of the 11th, Hines struck out before Cumbest homered to left field to give the Bulldogs a one-run lead. In the bottom half, Hunt forced Ole Miss into three flyouts to end the game at 7-6.
The Bulldogs and Rebels will play again Tuesday at 6 p.m. CT in a nonconference game for the Governor’s Cup at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Mississippi.