Rebels, Bulldogs get Sunday wins

Published 2:48 am Monday, April 19, 2010

COLUMBIA, S.C. — David Phillips and Matt Smith both homered and the Rebels put together a big inning in the fifth as No. 14 Ole Miss (24-13, 8-7 SEC) rallied to defeat No. 5 South Carolina (28-8, 11-4 SEC) 5-4 on Sunday.

With the win, the Rebels salvaged the weekend and avoided the sweep. Matt Tracy (2-2) picked up the win in relief as he worked 3.2 scoreless innings and allowed one hit with one walk and two strikeouts. Brett Huber picked up his fourth save of the season as he worked the ninth and allowed one hit with a strikeout. Starter David Goforth struck out a career-high eight batters in 4.1 innings of work while allowing four runs on five hits and three walks.

Reliever John Taylor (2-2) took the loss for South Carolina as he gave up one run on the solo shot from David Phillips with two strikeouts.

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South Carolina got on the board first when Scott Wingo hit a solo home run with two down in the third inning to put the Gamecocks up 1-0. The South Carolina hitters had been stymied by Goforth until that point as the Rebel pitcher had struck out seven of the first eight batters faced. The only non-strikeout was a fly out to center field.

The Gamecocks then used a single and two walks to load the bases before Goforth got Nick Ebert to fly out and end the inning with the home team in the lead. South Carolina extended the lead with another home run in the fourth inning as Adam Matthews sent the ball over the fence in left field to put the Gamecocks up 2-0.

The Rebels answered in the fifth when Tim Ferguson came up with an RBI single through the left side to score Taylor Hightower from third and move David Phillips to third. Ferguson moved to second on a fielding error at third as South Carolina threw toward home to stop Phillips from advancing home. Ole Miss then tied the game with a groundout to first from Miles Hamblin that pushed Phillips across the plate and advanced Ferguson to third.

Matt Smith then hit a two-run shot to left, his seventh home run of the year, to put the Rebels on top 4-2 and send South Carolina to the bullpen for right-hander John Taylor. Taylor got a strikeout to end the inning with no further damage.

South Carolina put together its own rally in the bottom half of the inning, using a two-RBI double from Jeffrey Jones to score Wingo and Jackie Bradley Jr. from the corners and tie the game at four. Ebert was hit by a pitch to put two men on with one out and Ole Miss turned to the bullpen for Matt Tracy. The left-hander retired the next two batters to end the inning knotted at four. David Phillips opened the seventh inning with a solo home run, his seventh of the season, to put the Rebels back on top 5-4. Tracy and closer Brett Huber held the Gamecocks off the board from there as Ole Miss held on to pick up the 5-4 win.

Mississippi St. 14, Tennessee 6

STARKVILLE — Mississippi State continued its offensive tear Sunday afternoon, as the Bulldogs pounded out 15 hits while taking a 14-6 win over the Tennessee Volunteers at Dudy Noble Field.

With the victory, MSU captured the Super Bulldog Weekend Southeastern Conference series, two games to one. The Bulldogs have now taken three straight home series against the Volunteers. M-State’s two series wins this year already match the total number of league series won in each of the last two seasons.

More importantly, the Bulldogs moved into a three-way tie for eighth place in the overall league standing. At the official midway mark of the league race, this bodes important, because the top eight teams advance to the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala., in late May.

The Bulldogs are now 19-17 overall and 5-10 in league play, while the Vols fall to 18-19 and 4-11.

“In this league, you can win 66 percent of the your games and win it,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “You can win 33 percent of your games and make a regional. If we can just find a way to get in the (SEC) tournament, our RPI can get us in a regional.

“That is not out of the realm of possibilities. I like our chances with what we can do.”

While the Bulldogs had a couple of strong outings by freshman pitchers, the story of the spring homecoming weekend had to be the resurgence of the Maroon and White offense. MSU had 11 or more runs and 13 or more hits in all three weekend games. The Bulldogs racked UT pitching for 38 runs and 43 hits.

MSU again started strong Sunday afternoon, scoring five times in third inning to bolt out to a 7-1 advantage. Such early offense had to lift the spirits of MSU freshman left-hander Luke Bole, who worked a career best six innings to earn his first victory in league play. Bole (2-0) allowed eight hits and four runs (all earned), with two strikeouts and two walks.