Key Two-Out Hitting Secures Ole Miss Game 1 Victory Over Mississippi State

Photo courtesy Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics
Photo courtesy Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics

Sophomore shortstop Errol Robinson drove in a career-high three runs, all with two outs, including what proved to be the game-winning run in the eight-inning to lift Ole Miss to a 4-3 win over Mississippi State on Thursday night, May 7. The Rebels (26-24, 12-13 SEC) scored all four runs with two outs to take the series opener against the rival Bulldogs (24-25, 8-17 SEC).

Photo courtesy Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics
Photo courtesy Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics

“We didn’t have a lot of hits, but some guys came through with hits with runners in scoring position, and that’s what you need in this kind of game,” head coach Mike Bianco said. “Both teams played really well and both teams pitched really well, and it comes down to a timely hit.”

Junior left-hander Christian Trent (7-5) earned the win, giving up three runs — two earned — on seven hits with no walks and six strikeouts in 8.0 innings of work. It was his third straight outing where he went 8.0 innings, his three longest outings of the season.

Trent allowed just two baserunners through five, retiring 10 in a row at one point. He also held Mississippi State left-handed hitters hitless (0-for-10) and stranded four baserunners in the contest.

“It was a good night all around,” Trent said. “The offense was good. I felt great out there, and the defense was good again. It’s good to come out on top against the rival, especially in the first game.”

Robinson paced the Rebels at the plate, going 2-for-4 with three RBI, a two-RBI double in the fourth and then an RBI double in the eighth, nearly hitting his first career home run on both occasions. Making his second career start, freshman designated hitter Nic Perkins tallied his third straight multi-hit game and accounted for the Rebels’ other RBI. As a team, five of the Rebels’ six hits were with two outs. Ole Miss also went 4-for-6 at the dish with runners in scoring position.

Ole Miss struck first, doing all of its damage and taking a 3-0 lead with two outs in the fourth. Sophomore third baseman Colby Bortles started things off with a double to right-center. Senior first baseman Sikes Orvis followed with a walk, and then Robinson drove in both runners with a two-RBI double to deep center. The Rebels added another run on a two-out, RBI single by Perkins to increase the margin to three.

Mississippi State tied it up 3-3 in the sixth. After the leadoff batter reached on a fielding error and Ryan Gridley followed with a double to left, Gavin Collins made it a 3-2 game with a two-RBI double, and then Wes Rea tied the game at 3-3 with a single down the left-field line.

The Rebels regained their lead in the eighth, taking advantage of a miscue by Mississippi State. Freshman second baseman Will Golsan reached on a fielding error to lead off the inning. With two outs in the inning and pinch-running for Golsan, freshman Kyle Watson stole second. After his teammate found his way into scoring position, Robinson delivered with an RBI double to deep left, scoring Watson from second.

Sophomore left-hander Wyatt Short worked a scoreless ninth to earn the save, his team-leading eighth of the season, stranding the would-be, game-tying run at first base with a groundout, fittingly to Robinson, to end the game.

“It’s really important to finish strong,” Trent said. “We have six games left. It’s crucial that we give it our all and really finish out strong.”

Ole Miss and Mississippi State continue their weekend series Friday night with a first pitch set for 6 p.m. followed series finale at 4 p.m. CT on Saturday. Both games will be nationally televised on the SEC Network and will also be broadcast on the Ole Miss Radio Network.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

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