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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Seven-peat beat: Mississippi State baseball faces loss to Ole Miss

Brooks Surber | The Reflector

Before this weekend, the Mississippi State University Bulldogs held onto their win streak against rival Ole Miss for seven series. After Sunday’s lopsided loss, this streak came to an abrupt end.

In Game 1 of the series, MSU came out strong and run-ruled the Rebels 8-0 with an impressive offense, as sophomore outfielder Dakota Jordan went 2-for-5 with two RBIs and senior infielder Logan Kohler went 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Junior pitcher Khal Stephen showed off his personal strengths when he tied his career high record of pitching eight innings, earning nine strikeouts and three hits.

The most impressive part of this first game was in the sixth inning when seven out of eight runs were scored, securing a victory for the Bulldogs. Although this game put the team into an explosive series opener, the momentum failed to continue for the rest of the weekend.

Mississippi State had two bright spots in the second game with sophomore infielder David Mershon going 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a walk, while Jordan went 2-for-6 with an RBI. As the game progressed, Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco faced ejection. The Rebels’ coach felt that graduate catcher Johnny Long should have been ejected for a bat flip after his home run. Bianco exited the dugout and shared his thoughts about the call with home plate umpire Scott Cline. Instead of becoming a hero to the Rebels, Cline sent Bianco to the locker room early.

The game lasted twelve innings, going back and forth in the 10th and 11th innings before the Rebels finished it with a walk-off victory. The final Saturday score was 9-10, and Mississippi State had to prepare for a tie-breaking Sunday.

Bulldogs Head Coach Chris Lemonis shared his thoughts about Long’s bat flip during the post-game press conference on Saturday.

“That’s all that was,” Lemonis said. “First home run I think of his career here, and it was a big one. Like the umpire said, kids are excited and everything else.”

Bianco shared what he thought about his ejection, suggesting that his emotions got the best of him.

“I didn’t do that to fire up the team,” Bianco said. “I know they talk a lot about that in the movies. I want to make sure that I stay on the field as much as possible. I don’t wanna get suspended ‒ unless my daughter’s graduating. You can tell, I don’t get ejected very much.”

With Saturday’s game in the past, Sunday had a completely different outcome; however, still not in MSU’s favor. Both teams came out with tension, ready to determine who would get to keep the victory. Either MSU wins the eighth series in a row, or the Rebels add more tension to the rivalry by breaking the seven-game win streak.

Unfortunately, Ole Miss came out ready to finish the series. Junior infielder Hunter Hines led at the plate, going 1-for-3 with an RBI double, but the Bulldogs could not rise to the occasion. Mississippi State headed back to Starkville after losing the game 14-2.

The Bulldogs currently hold a 22-14 overall record, going 7-8 in conference play.

As the season continues, MSU will host the next conference series against Auburn University. The upcoming Auburn series will be part of the annual Super Bulldog Weekend festivities. Mississippi State will kick off the weekend against the Auburn Tigers on Friday at 6 p.m. at Dudy Noble Field, and the matchup will be broadcast on SEC Network.

About the Contributor
Kensi Brandenburg
Kensi Brandenburg, Staff Writer
Kensi Brandenburg is a sophomore communication major. Kensi is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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