OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) - What started out as an Ole Miss rout turned into a one-run, come-from-behind victory for Mississippi State, as the Bulldogs overcame a six-run deficit to pick up a 7-6 win in Sunday's series finale.
The Rebels took two of three during the weekend series, winning both games of Saturday's doubleheader, but it was MSU who appeared to have all of the momentum at the end of the weekend.
Ole Miss scored three runs in the first inning and three more in the third to take a quick 6-0 lead. The Rebels chased MSU started Jacob Lindgren after just an inning on the mound and forced MSU head coach John Cohen to turn to closer Jonathan Holder in the second inning.
Ben Bracewell took to the mound for Mississippi State to start the fifth inning, and would pitch the remainder of the game. Bracewell struck out three batters and allowed just one hit on the way to getting the win.
"When he got on a roll, and guys weren't getting on bases, you just wanted to let him keep staying on a roll because he was commanding the baseball," said MSU head coach John Cohen. "You know, again, you just want to let the older guy have that moment and he seized it."
After the Rebels stranded the bases loaded in the fourth, the momentum began to shift.
Two days after pitching the first inning of Friday's game (which was postponed), Bobby Wahl got the start on Sunday for the Rebels. He left the game in the sixth inning to a standing ovation, but had loaded the bases with just one out.
Jeremy Massie came on and gave up back-to-back RBI-singles and then a two-RBI-double to Adam Frazier.
Massie was replaced before he recorded an out.
Scott Weathersby entered the game with the Rebels up 6-4 and gave up what turned into a sacrifice fly to Alex Detz. Detz hit a line drive to right-center field, but a great diving catch by Will Jamison turned what could have been an extra-base hit into a sacrifice fly as Demarcus Henderson tagged up and scored from third.
"The last thing we wanted to see [after being shut out on Saturday] was another '0' up there," said Bracewell. "I think once we got that first run across, it really boosted up the confidence in the dugout and everything and we were able to roll after that."
"I really don't know what to say," said Ole Miss pitcher Bobby Wahl. "It was one of those games where I came out with the bases loaded and I put my bullpen in a bad situation and I've got to put those three runs on me there. It's kind of frustrating, but that's how it is sometimes."
With the Rebel lead down to just 6-5, the Bulldogs struck again just an inning later.
In the seventh, Frazier hit a two-RBI-single with the bases loaded on a ground ball that found the hole to give Mississippi State the lead. Frazier drove in four of Mississippi State's runs, going 3-for-4 on the day with a walk and a double.
The offenses would be held in check after that, with MSU getting a runner to third in the ninth inning, only to strand the runner.
Bracewell set the Rebels down 1-2-3 in the ninth inning to close out the come-from-behind win.
"[It was a] disappointing way to finish the weekend after having a six-run lead," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. "As I told the guys, they out-played us today. We had a six-run lead going into the sixth inning, but the truth of the matter is they just played better."
Mississippi State hosts Oral Roberts on Tuesday before opening its final SEC series of the season on Thursday against South Carolina. Ole Miss visits Southern Miss on Tuesday before traveling to LSU on Thursday to close out its regular season schedule.