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No. 24 Auburn uses seven-run sixth to beat MSU

 

From Special Reports

 

 

 

 

MSU fell to 19-18 and 5-10 in the Southeastern Conference, while Auburn improved to 25-12 and 6-9. 

 

"We were pleased with our starting pitching the entire series," MSU interim coach Gary Henderson said. "We got three good starts. We played well defensively the entire series. We didn't manage the sixth inning well. There were too many freebies and then too many two-strike base hits. It was a bad inning. 

 

"For the most part, we are an improved offensive team. We had good at-bats all weekend. We are taking too many fastballs early in the count. We need to be more aggressive early in counts. We outhit them in all three games. That is improvement." 

 

After taking a 7-2 victory in the middle game of the series, things looked promising for MSU to take a second-straight conference series after it built a 4-0 lead. 

 

After being held to two runs in each of the first two games of the series, the Tigers collected seven runs on five hits in the sixth. 

 

MSU started the scoring with three runs in the fifth. Tanner Poole started things with a one-out single. Jake Mangum followed with an RBI double to left field with two outs for the game's first run. Luke Alexander followed with a two-run home run to left center. 

 

In the sixth, the Bulldogs expanded that lead when Justin Foscue and Marshall Gilbert had back-to-back doubles with two outs. 

 

Jacob Billingsley started and was lifted with one out in the sixth after allowing five hits and three runs (all earned). He didn't walk a batter and struck out seven. Cole Gordon faced four batters and didn't record an out. Gordon (2-2) allowed a three-run home run to Brendan Venter that gave the Tigers a 5-4 lead. Luke Jarvis followed with a single and Judd Ward tripled. 

 

Zach Neff relieved Gordon and worked the Bulldogs out of the inning after a ground ball out scored the inning's final run. 

 

Neff worked until one out in the eighth when Blake Smith took over. 

 

In MSU's ninth, Josh Hatcher had a pinch-hit double. Rowdey Jordan followed with an RBI single. 

 

MSU had 10 hits. Mangum was the team's lone multiple hitter. 

 

Auburn had eight hits. Brett Wright and Ward had two hits. Cody Greenhill (2-1) picked up the win in relief. 

 

MSU will play Memphis at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at AutoZone Park in Memphis, Tennessee. 

 

 

 

No. 4 Ole Miss baseball team drops two heartbreakers to No. 14 Vanderbilt 

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The No. 4 Ole Miss baseball team dropped two 8-7 decisions to No. 14 Vanderbilt on Sunday in the final two games of the three-game weekend series at Hawkins Field. 

 

The losses marked the second Southeastern Conference series loss for Ole Miss (29-8, 8-7). 

 

In the first game of the day, the teams remained scoreless through the first three-and-a-half innings until Vanderbilt scored two runs in the fourth. 

 

Ole Miss chipped back with one in the fifth off a Tyler Keenan RBI double and another in the sixth on a Ryan Olenek home run that extended his hitting streak to 14 games. 

 

The Commodores appeared to regain control with three more runs in the bottom half of the sixth, but Ole Miss fought back in the top of the seventh. Cole Zabowski and Will Golsan started the rally with back-to-back singles. Olenek came through with an infield single to plate the go-ahead run. 

 

Vanderbilt came back in the bottom half to tie it and send the game to extra innings. 

 

Ole Miss pushed one across in the eighth when a Golsan sacrifice fly scored Thomas Dillard, who opened the inning with a leadoff double.  

 

However, the Commodores scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth. The second run scored on a wild pitch. 

 

In the second game of the day, Ole Miss struck first after a leadoff walk by Grae Kessinger and a double by Olenek to stretch his streak to 15 games. Kessinger scored on a Dillard groundout to give the Rebels an early lead. 

 

Ole Miss starter James McArthur struck out five of the first six batters he faced. In the third, an inside breaking ball caught the leg of a batter to start a two-run inning for the home team. The Commodores tacked on three more runs in the fourth to force the Rebels to come back once again. 

 

Ole Miss tied the game with a four-run fifth, highlighted by a solo home run for Keenan, an RBI single by Olenek, and a two-RBI double for Nick Fortes. Immediately after Fortes' double, Vanderbilt used a hidden ball trick to help end the inning. 

 

With the score tied at five, Will Ethridge struck out the side in the fifth, setting up for the Rebels' go-ahead inning. After a Golsan single and a walk by Keenan to start the inning, Cooper Johnson came through with an RBI single in a pinch-hitting situation. Kessinger then delivered an RBI single to give Ole Miss a 7-5 lead. 

 

Golsan, a former standout at New Hope High School in Columbus, went 5-for-9 with four runs scored and two RBIs on the weekend. 

 

Ole Miss will play host to Arkansas State at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Swayze Field. 

 

 

 

Southern Mississippi wins series against Florida International 

 

MIAMI -- Mason Strickland and J.C. Keys combined on a four-hitter Sunday to lead the No. 12 Southern Mississippi baseball team to a 13-1 victory against Florida International in a Conference USA game at Infinity Insurance Park. 

 

Southern Miss (24-11, 10-4 C-USA) won its ninth-straight C-USA series thanks to an eight-run, seventh inning. 

 

LeeMarcus Boyd had three hits, including a two-run home run in a three-run fifth, and Matthew Guidry drove in three runs in the deciding inning with two of his three hits to help the Golden Eagles win the rubber match of the three-game road set. 

 

Boyd, who had three hits and scored three runs, smacked his fourth home run of the season in the fifth as the Golden Eagles opened a 5-1 lead on the Panthers (17-19, 7-8). 

 

Southern Miss sealed the game in the seventh when it sent 13 batters to the plate and scored eight runs on six hits. The game was called after seven innings on the conference's 10-run rule. 

 

Strickland (1-0) allowed a run and four hits in the first four innings. He didn't walk a batter and struck out three. 

 

Keys picked up his first career save with three hitless innings. He didn't walk a batter and struck out four. 

 

Southern Miss pitching allowed runs in just two of the weekend's 25 innings. 

 

The Golden Eagles battered three pitchers for 12 hits Sunday. Boyd and Guidry combined for half the haul, while Luke Reynolds had two hits and drove in two runs. 

 

Guidry had three RBIs and two runs scored. Gabe Montenegro hit a two-run single in the third and Cole Donaldson and Mason each scored twice. 

 

MacDonald (2-3) allowed nine runs (six earned) on nine hits. He walked three and struck out seven in six innings. 

 

Southern Miss will visit Southeastern Louisiana at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Hammond, Louisiana.

 

 

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