STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) - Luke Alexander hit a two-run, walk-off home run as Mississippi State knocked off arch-rival Ole Miss 7-5 in 11 innings in the final game of a three-game Southeastern Conference series Sunday at Dudy Noble Field.
MSU takes the series from Ole Miss for a third straight season. The Bulldogs have won six of the last seven meetings with the Rebels. MSU improved to 17-16 overall and 4-8 in conference play, while Ole Miss fell to 27-6 and 7-5.
“It was a great series win for us,” MSU head coach Gary Henderson said. “The kids kept battling. Finding a way to tie the game in the ninth inning was huge for this team. There was a lot of good defense, too. We had some great fan support this weekend. I am happy that it worked out and we were able to get this victory.”
The heroes were plenty for the Bulldogs.
Jake Mangum became the first Bulldogs with five hits in a game since doing it versus Arkansas in the 2016 season. Mangum also had the game-tying hit in the ninth inning as he scored Tanner Poole, who reached on a one-out double. Mangum also had a putout at the plate.
In relief, Cole Gordon got the Bulldogs out of a tight spot in the seventh inning when the Rebels left the bases loaded. Blake Smith (3-0) pitched three innings of one-hit shutout relief to earn the win.
MSU grabbed a 1-0 lead on a Hunter Stovall sacrifice fly in the first inning.
Ole Miss then took a 2-1 lead in the top half of the third inning. However, the Bulldogs came back to tie on an RBI-single by Tanner Allen.
Down 3-2, the Bulldogs scored twice on a pair of hits in the seventh inning. Poole also started the inning right with a base hit. Mangum followed with a hit. An error scored one run, while a ground ball out placed the Bulldogs on top 4-3.
Things stayed away until the ninth inning when the Rebels scratched for back-to-back sacrifice flies to take their last lead.
The Bulldogs finished with 11 hits. Poole joined Mangum in the multiple hit column with two hits. Jacob Billingsley drew the start on the mound, before giving way to Zach Neff in the fourth inning.
State will retake the road a four-game road trip through the state of Alabama. It begins Wednesday in Montgomery against Alabama State (6 p.m. CT at Riverwalk Stadium) and will close with a three-game SEC weekend series at Auburn.