Rebels, Bulldogs split doubleheader

Published 8:40 pm Saturday, April 7, 2018

STARKVILLE — Ole Miss and Mississippi State split a doubleheader on Saturday, with Mississippi State winning the first game by a score of 13-3, and Ole Miss winning the second game 6-1.

In game one, the Bulldogs powered through thanks to a huge third inning. The Rebels’ defense was in disarray, and what might’ve been a three-run inning became an eight-run rally thanks to two errors.

Konnor Pilkington took home the win for the Bulldogs, throwing seven innings and allowing two earned runs on five hits, one walk and seven strikeouts. For the Rebels, Brady Feigl shouldered the loss, lasting just 2 1/3 innings. He gave up five earned runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out two.

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“Konnor (Pilkington) had a solid start for us,” Mississippi State coach Gary Henderson said. “He settled down after the home run. It was nice to have the big inning because we haven’t had a lot of those. The team was more relaxed after that. We had six hits from the last three spots in the lineup in the win. That’s important.”

At the plate for the Rebels, Nick Fortes went 1-for-4 with two RBIs after sending a solo home run into the stands in the first. Thomas Dillard went 1-for-4 with a double and one RBI.

For Mississippi State, Tanner Allen went 3-for-4 with a double and four RBIs, Marshall Gilbert had three hits, Josh Hatcher went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, Hunter Vansau had two hits and two RBIs, and Jake Mangum and Rowdey Jordan each had a double and one RBI.

The 13 runs were the most Ole Miss has allowed this season, but also the second time in three games that an opponent has scored 10 or more. The Rebels beat Arkansas 11-10 last Sunday.

In game two, the Rebels took a 2-0 lead in the second inning and put the game out of reach with two more two-run rallies in the fourth and fifth. Mississippi State scored its lone run in the third when Mangum scored on a fielder’s choice.

Ethan Small worked four innings for the Bulldogs and allowed four runs on eight hits, with seven strikeouts and two walks. For the Rebels, Ryan Rolison picked up the win after giving up only one earned run. He walked two and struck out nine over seven innings.

Fortes had another strong game for Ole Miss, along with Ryan Olenek, with both of them going 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI. Chase Cockrell went 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI, and Jacob Adams added two RBIs.

The Bulldogs didn’t fare as well hitting, but Mangum finished 2-for-5 with a double and Dustin Skelton went 2-for-4.

“In the second game, we gave up some big hits with two outs and two strikes,” Henderson said. “If we locate better on some of those pitches, we get out of those innings. Ethan (Small) was not as sharp he has been. When that happens, you have to pick him up offensively and we weren’t able to do that.”

The series closes Sunday at 1 p.m. at Dudy Noble field in Starkville.