College baseball: Ole Miss beats Southern Miss again; Mississippi State cruises past Valpo

Published 12:24 am Wednesday, March 8, 2023

OXFORD — Southern Miss is 0-for-2 against its in-state Southeastern Conference rivals.

No. 4 Ole Miss belted three home runs — one each by Anthony Calarco, TJ McCants and Peyton Chatagnier — and beat Southern Miss 11-5 Tuesday night.

Ole Miss (11-2) won its fifth consecutive game. It has scored 34 runs in its last three games.

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“We’re swinging it really well, and it’s coming from different people,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “Right now it’s a hard pill when you’re in the other dugout. We’ve made it hard for teams to navigate through.”

Southern Miss (8-4) lost last week to Mississippi State, and has now lost four in a row against the state’s other SEC team Ole Miss. The Rebels knocked Southern Miss out of the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons. Ole Miss and Southern Miss play again March 28 at Trustmark Park in Pearl.

A sellout crowd of 10,551 was on hand at Swayze Field for the game.

“One of the best ever on a Tuesday night,” Bianco said of the atmosphere in the stadium. “But I think people understand that it’s two really good programs, and our history as far as postseason the last few years. I think this was one of those the fans circled. It was a neat atmosphere.”

Southern Miss scored a run in the top of the first in this one, but Ole Miss quickly seized control. Calarco and McCants hit solo home runs in a span of three batters to give the Rebels the lead in the bottom fo the second inning, and they never gave it back.

After getting a run on a balk in the third inning, Ethan Lege hit an RBI single and then scored on a double by Ethan Groff in the fourth. Calvin Harris added a two-run single to give Ole Miss a 7-1 lead.

McCants’ solo home run in the fifth put the Rebels ahead 8-1.

Southern Miss scored four times in the sixth — Carson Paetow hit a solo home run, Dustin Dickerson had an RBI double and Creek Robertson and Matthew Etzel each hit an RBI single — but Ole Miss tacked on one in the bottom of the sixth and two in the seventh to stop the Golden Eagles’ comeback in its tracks.

Calarco and Harris both went 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Ole Miss. Groff had two RBIs, and Jacob Gonzalez was 2-for-4 with one RBI and two runs scored.

Etzel and Dickerson had two hits apiece for Southern Miss, which had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Southern Miss returns home to Pete Taylor Park to play Valparaiso in a three-game series beginning Friday, while Ole Miss hosts Purdue in its next weekend series.

Mississippi State 12, Valparaiso 2
Bradley Loftin totaled 11 strikeouts in six innings, while Hunter Hines and Clark Kellum both homered to lead Mississippi State (8-5) to a midweek victory over Valparaiso (6-4).

Hines went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and Kellum was 2-for-3 with one RBI and three runs scored. They hit back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to put the Bulldogs ahead 10-2.

Mississippi State opens a three-game home series against Lipscomb Friday at 6 p.m.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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