Coming into the weekend, Ole Miss looked like a heavy favorite on its way into a rivalry series with Mississippi State in Starkville.
But the Bulldogs showed just how much they needed a series like this. They rode Luke Alexander’s two-run, walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th to a 7-5 series-clinching win on Sunday.
“That’s just something he gets to carry with him for the rest of his life,” Mississippi State interim head coach Gary Henderson said. “A Mississippi kid playing in Mississippi State versus Ole Miss, you got the Sunday swing game and he runs a ball out of the yard in the 11th. Not everybody gets an opportunity to do that in their life or have a moment like that.”
“Just to hit a ball like that, to walk it off against Ole Miss…it just gives you the most confidence you could possibly have,” Alexander said.
MSU could use some of that. This is its only SEC series win of the season.
“We’ve been showing progress throughout the year,” Alexander said. “To do that
against Ole Miss, I think it could kick-start us.”
As for the Rebels, this is their first series loss of the season. Head coach Mike Bianco believes his team didn’t take advantage of key chances.
“We played hard, but we just didn’t do enough,” Bianco said. “We had opportunities with runners on that we didn’t just get the big hit to extend the lead. But, we had the lead. We had the lead twice
late in the game. Usually when we have the lead late in the game, we’re able to hold it and we blew two of them today.”
The Bulldogs will travel to Alabama State next on April 11. The Rebels will meet Southern Miss next in Pearl at Trustmark Park on April 10.