STARKVILLE, Miss. – For the Mississippi State baseball team, every part of Super Bulldog Weekend Saturday was indeed super.
Playing before an NCAA on-campus attendance record crowd of 15,586, MSU scored four times in the bottom of the 10th inning to knock off arch-rival Ole Miss 6-5 in the middle game of a three-game Southeastern Conference weekend series.
Gavin Collins ripped the game-winning single to cap a monster four-run 10th inning. Cody Brown and Seth Heck started things with back-to-back on-out doubles. An error opened the door for the Bulldogs. A sacrifice fly by Brett Pirtle brought the Bulldogs within a run.
Wes Rea followed with a game-tying double and Collins then sent the sun-drenched Maroon and White crowd home happy.
Sikes Orvis hit his eighth home run of the year – a massive two-run shot in the top half of the tenth inning to break a tie and lift Ole Miss into the lead. The Bulldogs were playing extra innings for only the second time this season and the second time this week.
The previous NCAA on-campus attendance record – also held by MSU – was set in 1989 when a crowd of 14,991 were on hand to watch the Bulldogs sweep a doubleheader from Florida. That crowd was eclipsed less than 24 hours after another stellar crowd of 13,224 attended the opening game of the three-game weekend series.
Ole Miss won the series opener 6-1 Friday night. Thus the Bulldogs will play a rubber game for the third time in five weekends at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. MSU is now 22-14 overall and 7-7 in league play, while Ole Miss is 28-9 and 8-6.
The Bulldogs started the scoring with a lone run in the first inning. Seth Heck singled and Alex Detz reached as a hit batsman. After both advanced on a sacrifice bunt from Brett Pirtle, Heck scored on a sacrifice fly hit by Wes Rea.
Detz and Pirtle also had a hand in getting things started in the third inning with back-to-back one-out singles. Gavin Collins connected for an RBI-single. A follow-up infield hit by Derrick Armstrong reloaded the bases. However, a strikeout ended that threat.
Ole Miss battled back to tie with a pair of scores in the fifth inning.
In that at-bat, a leadoff single by Preston Overbey ended the day for MSU starter Trevor Fitts. Fitts worked four-plus innings, allowing four hits and one run (earned), with one strikeout. In relief, Jacob Lindgren got a strikeout before Braxton Lee and Austin Bousfield picked up back-to-back hits to load the bases.
A wild pitch plate one run, while an Austin Anderson groundout plated another in the Ole Miss fifth inning.
From there, Lindgren kept the Rebels in check, while the Bulldogs could not cash in on a golden opportunity in the seventh inning. Detz drew a one-out walk, while Wes Rea and Gavin Collins each drew two-out walks. However, a flyout ended this threat, as the Bulldogs left the bases loaded for a second time in the contest.
In the eighth inning, Jake Vickerson led off with a pinch-hit double for the Bulldogs. After a sacrifice bunt by C.T. Bradford moved him to third, two strikeouts snuffed that threat. The Bulldogs also loaded the bases in the ninth inning but again could not score.
Freshman Vance Tatum picked up his first career win (1-0), while Ole Miss’ Josh Laxer suffered the loss (2-1).
MSU finished with 15 hits. Pirtle had three hits, while Detz, Collins and Armstrong each added two hits.
Ole Miss finished with 13 hits. Will Allen had three hits, while Lee and Anderson each had two hits.