Fowler pitches Ole Miss to Mayor’s Trophy|[3/30/05]

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 30, 2005

JACKSON – Ole Miss kept two streaks alive Tuesday night: Brian Pettway hit in his record 25th-straight game and the Rebels won the Mayor’s Trophy over archrival Mississippi State for the fifth straight time.

Eric Fowler pitched 7 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball and the Rebels exploded for four runs in the bottom of the eighth to claim a 5-1 win.

“He was throwing in the high 80s and locating everything,” Mississippi State’s Thomas Berkery said of Fowler. “That’s the key. He got us down in the count all night.”

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Fowler struck out a career-high 11 batters – the final two coming in the eighth inning with runners on first and second and no one out. He fanned Michael Rutledge and Jeff Butts before being lifted. Relief pitcher Matt Maloney coaxed a groundout from Jeffrey Rea to end the inning and keep Ole Miss in front, 1-0.

“It was a smart choice bringing Maloney in with the success he’s had,” Fowler said. “I was wearing down a little bit.”

In the bottom of the eighth, veteran Mississippi State coach Ron Polk was ejected for arguing a balk call. The ejection appeared to fire up the Rebels more than MSU, however. Chris Coghlan’s RBI triple and Miles Franklin’s two-run home run highlighted a four-run eighth to put Ole Miss comfortably ahead 5-0.

“It was a clean game by us, until the ninth,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “We can make it exciting in the ninth.”

Berkery led off the ninth with a home run, then Mississippi State loaded the bases against Maloney. The Rebels’ junior pitcher struck out pinch-hitter Joseph McCaskill to end the contest.

Brooks Dunn pitched five innings and allowed one run and was charged with the loss. The Rebels touched four Bulldog pitchers for 11 hits, including Pettway’s fourth-inning double.

The junior from Warren Central, who leads the team with a gaudy .452 batting average and 10 home runs, laced a double down the left-field line. Pettway has hit safely in every game this season.

“When I get to the plate, all I am thinking about is hitting the ball hard,” Pettway said. “If it falls, it falls, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. It’s exciting for me to have hit in that many games and hopefully I can keep it going.”

USM 7, Alabama 4

Warren Central graduate Kevin Coker’s two-run double capped a four-run seventh inning and lifted Southern Miss to a victory over Alabama on Tuesday night.

The Golden Eagles (19-5) trailed 3-2 entering the inning, but Jason Lowery’s RBI single scored Trey Sutton with the tying run.

Lowery stole second, then scored the go-ahead run on David Steele’s single. Beau Griffin doubled, and both he and Steele scored on Coker’s double, making it a three-run game.

Alabama pulled to 6-4 in the eighth before the Golden Eagles took a three-run lead later that inning.

Southern Miss won its seventh straight game and snapped the Crimson Tide’s 11-game winning streak in the series.