OXFORD, Miss. -- The Ole Miss baseball team powered past Mississippi State, 13-10, in a Friday night slugfest between the Magnolia State rivals. The victory clinched the series for the Rebels (27-24, 13-13 SEC), making it three straight series wins over the Bulldogs (24-26, 8-18 SEC). The final score was the highest scoring game in a series between the two in-state foes since May 2, 2010 when Ole Miss won 19-11.
Every Rebel in the starting lineup recorded a hit as Ole Miss pounded 15 hits off MSU pitching. The Rebels continued their clutch hitting, going 7-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Senior Sikes Orvis led the big night of hitting for both teams with four RBI on two hits, tying his season high. The last time Orvis reached that RBI total was on March 21 versus then-No. 1 ranked Florida.
"We were aggressive," noted Orvis. "We took the first punch and brought the fight to them, which is what you want out of your offense. We wanted to come out and put runs up, and we did a good job of doing that tonight."
Sophomore Colby Bortles had a team-high three hits, going 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run score. Will Golsan, Austin Knight and J.B. Woodman all tallied multi-hit games for the Rebels.
Ole Miss scored six runs on five hits in the opening frame, the second most runs scored by the Rebels in the first inning this season. The most runs scored in the first occurred on April 21 when the Rebels faced Central Arkansas, scoring a total of eight runs.
The hits in the first inning included two home runs blasted by Orvis and Woodman. Orvis' three-run bomb was his third home run in as many games, 12th of the season, and No. 30 for his career. Woodman's homer marked his seventh of the year.
The Rebels forced MSU starting pitcher Preston Brown (5-7) out of the game before the right-hander could get an out. Brown surrendered five runs (four earned) on four hits. Vance Tatum relieved his teammate and allowed five runs over 4.1 innings. At the plate, Jacob Robson and Ryan Gridley recorded three hits apiece to pace the Bulldogs.
Ole Miss starting pitcher Brady Bramlett (6-3) tossed 6.0 innings, allowing six runs on nine hits and no walks, picking up his sixth victory of the season. Sophomore Jacob Waguespack pitched 2.0 innings, getting the Rebels out of a jam and giving up just two hits. For the second consecutive night, Wyatt Short (9) entered the game in the ninth inning and shut the door on the Bulldogs to earn his ninth save of the season.
The Rebels made a jump early after two Bulldog errors allowed leadoff hitter Connor Cloyd to advance to second. A pair of RBI singles by Errol Robinson and Colby Bortles put the Rebels on the board with a 2-0 lead and no outs. With two runners on, Orvis kept the momentum going by leaving the yard for a three-run home run. Still without an out in the inning, Woodman knocked a solo homer off of the reliever Tatum, to increase the Ole Miss lead to 6-0.
Mississippi State fought back in the second with a Wes Rea leadoff home run. After back-to-back singles by Robson and Reid Humphreys, respectively, Robson scored on a wild. The Bulldogs continued to swing the bats and Humphreys tallied another run on a fielder's choice, bringing the score to 6-3, still in favor of Ole Miss.
During the bottom of the second inning, the Rebels put another run on the board after Cloyd crossed the dish on a wild pitch.
In the fifth, Mississippi State was able to score on a RBI single by Gavin Collins. However, Ole Miss answered by putting five more runs on the board. An Orvis RBI-double to right field scored Golsan, while the two-base hit was followed by singles from both Austin Knight and J.B. Woodman. Designated hitter Nic Perkins stepped up to the plate and hit a two-RBI double to extend the Rebel lead. After advancing to third on the throw home, Perkins scored on a sacrifice RBI-fly by Cameron Dishon, which brought the Ole Miss advantage to eight, 12-4.
The Bulldogs added two runs back on the board in the sixth, but the Rebels got one back on a Knight sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Golsan.
Entering the seventh inning trailing by seven, Mississippi State shortened the deficit with four runs before Waguespack pitched the Rebels out of a no-out jam.
The Bulldogs threatened again in the eighth, but the Rebels held on to the 13-10 lead. Waguespack was once again able to work through the situation, leaving a Mississippi State runner stranded on third. One inning later, Short entered the game to close out the final frame. He retired three straight Mississippi State batters, including a strikeout on the last at-bat, to conclude the hitting duel and secure another series for Ole Miss against its in-state rival.
Ole Miss and Mississippi State will return to action for the final game of the series on Saturday evening, as the Rebels look to get their third win of the weekend. First pitch is set for 4:00 p.m. CT. Game three between the two in-state schools will be televised on SEC Network.