STARKVILLE, Miss. - Ole Miss baseball (20-14, 3-10 SEC) opened a three-game series against Mississippi State (20-15, 3-10 SEC) in Starkville Friday night with a 3-2 win over the Bulldogs.
Calvin Harris went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a walk, giving him his fourth-consecutive multi-hit game. He has 12 hits in his last four games with at least one RBI in the last three. Ethan Groff, Kemp Alderman, and TJ McCants each had two hits in the win as well.
Jack Dougherty and Mitch Murrell combined to three-hit the Bulldogs on the mound, giving up just two runs, both on solo home runs. They struck out a combined seven hitters while issuing just one walk over nine innings.
Ole Miss picked up the first three hits of the game but neither team could bring a runner home during the first two innings.
Jacob Gonzalez broke the scoreless tie in the top of the third inning with his seventh home run of the season, a solo shot into the bleachers in right center. It was his second home run in as many SEC games.
Dougherty pitched four innings of no-hit baseball, allowing just one runner when he hit the first batter of the game with a pitch. He got the next Bulldog to ground into a double play and then retired the next 10 hitters he faced.
Mississippi State finally got to Dougherty in the fifth inning as Dakota Jordan hit a solo home run to left field to tie the game at 1-1. Dougherty sat down the next three batters he faced however as he continued rolling through the Bulldogs' lineup.
After retiring the first two batters of the sixth inning, Dougherty gave up his second hit of the game and issued his first walk, giving Mississippi State runners on base for the first time all night. He was able to get the final out of the inning with no damage done with the help of a leaping catch against the right field wall by McCants.
The junior finished his night after six full innings for the third time this season, giving up a season-low two hits and just one run while striking out four. He would leave the game with the teams locked in a 1-1 tie.
Murrell came on in relief in the seventh, retiring all three batters he faced.
Offensively, the Rebels continued to hit the ball but never really threatened until the top of the seventh. They had runners on second and third but could not bring across a run.
The game remained locked at 1-1 until the eighth when Alderman led off the inning with a solo home run down the line in right field. It marked his third-straight game with a home run and his fourth big fly in his last six games.
Now with a 2-1 lead, Murrell came back on the in eighth and retired the next three hitters to send the game to the ninth.
McCants opened the top of the inning with a bunt single down the third base line. He stole second base and came around to score on an RBI-single up the middle by Harris to make it 3-1 Rebels with just three outs to go.
Murrell came back out for the ninth and looking for his second win of the season. He was able to get the first two batters to make it eight in a row retired for the senior before giving up a solo home run to Hunter Hines. Murrell came back and struck out the next batter to close out the 3-2 victory for the Rebels.
Ole Miss will have a chance to win the series tomorrow as the two teams meet at 3 p.m. on SEC Network.