Ole Miss walks off ULM again; USM bests Alabama

Published 11:30 am Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ole Miss’ first six wins came in dominating fashion. To change things up, they’ve taken a more dramatic approach this week.

Will Allen delivered a bases-loaded RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday to give Ole Miss a 4-3 win over Louisiana-Monroe. The Rebels swept the two-game midweek series with a pair of walk-off victories.

Ole Miss had tied the game at 3 on an RBI groundout by Colby Bortles in the bottom of the eighth, then rallied again in the ninth to win it. Brantley Bell led off the ninth with a single, then two intentional walks loaded the bases. Allen hit the first pitch he saw through the left side to bring in Bell with the winning run.

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Cheyne Bickel (1-1) picked up the win in relief, working the final 21⁄3 innings and holding the Warhawks off the board while striking out one batter and not allowing a walk. Jeremy Massie threw five no-hit, scoreless innings in his first start as a Rebel.

The only blemish for the Rebels’ pitching staff was Evan Anderson’s rough seventh inning. An error and a wild pitch helped two runs score, then Vincent Dellecono delivered an RBI double to put ULM ahead 3-2.

Louisiana-Monroe (4-5) only had two hits in the game. Both came in the seventh inning.

Allen, Bell and Sikes Orvis all had two hits apiece for Ole Miss (8-1).

“It was a tough day to play baseball,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “I’m proud of the way we played. Jeremy Massie was outstanding. All the pitchers were outstanding, except for (Evan) Anderson’s tough inning. (Josh) Laxer came in and made it look easy with the 1-2-3 inning. Bickel was terrific after giving up the homer this weekend. He came back and looked tremendous.”

Southern Miss 2, Alabama 1

Breck Kline drove in the go-ahead run with a pinch-hit RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning, and Southern Miss (4-5) hung on to notch a midweek win over Alabama (4-3). Southern Miss won its second straight game after an uneven first week that included being swept at home by Louisiana-Lafayette in a weekend series.

“It feels good and wins do amazing things for you,” Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said. “They take care of a lot of stress levels and they make it easier to go to sleep at night and get up the next day. This was big. Our guys have been grinding.  It started out pretty rough. We hadn’t deserved to win a lot of games and if we continue to play like we’re playing right now, we’ll win our share.”

Christian Talley allowed one run and one walk while striking out five in seven strong innings for Southern Miss. Talley left after giving up a one-out double to Wade Wass in the top of the eighth. Reliever Jay Myrick worked out of the jam and earned the win, while Bradley Roney pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save of the season.

Roney, who started the game at third base, also went 2-for-3 at the plate and scored USM’s first run in the fifth inning.

Southern Miss’ winning rally started with an RBI single by Mason Robbins. He was bunted to second and scored on Kline’s single to left field.

Southern Miss will host Troy in a three-game weekend series beginning Friday at 6 p.m.

 Mississippi State 10, Mount St. Mary’s 1

Demarcus Henderson, Wes Rea and Brett Pirtle all drove in two runs apiece as Mississippi State (6-4) hammered Mount St. Mary’s (2-3) for the second day in a row. The Bulldogs outscored Mount St. Mary’s 23-2 and had 25 hits in the two-game midweek series.

Pirtle went 3-for-5, while Derrick Armstrong and Gavin Collins had two hits apiece.

Sophomore right-hander Preston Brown made his first career start and struck out seven batters in six innings. He allowed one unearned run and two hits. Will Cox finished up with three scoreless innings of relief to earn the save. Cox struck out six batters.

Mississippi State will host Michigan State and Eastern Illinois in the Diamond Classic, a double round-robin tournament, this weekend.