Meridian Star

March 2, 2014

Allen lifts Ole Miss with 10th inning home run

From School reports
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — OXFORD – For the second straight day the Rebels went into extra innings and for the second consecutive game a senior delivered the big hit as Will Allen’s solo home run in the 10th inning gave No. 24 Ole Miss (10-1) a 5-4 win over UCF (6-4) Saturday afternoon.

he walk-off win was the fourth straight for the Rebels who have won four one-run games this week. It marked the second game-winning hit for Allen this week, who also delivered the game-winning, RBI single in the ninth against ULM.

“Will (Allen) is swinging so well and confidently,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “He had a big 3-0 double in the big four-run inning for us. Not a lot of balls go out to centerfield here. It was a well-struck ball.

“The good news is, we’ve been on the right end of (the walk-off wins),” Bianco said. “I’ve never seen this many in a row. Not even close to this. I’m proud of them. I’m proud of the toughness we’ve showed. I’m proud of the confidence that we’ve had in these situations. It seems like in the last four games, when it’s gotten down to it, we’ve played our best baseball.”

Wyatt Short (2-0) picked up the win in relief for the Rebels, working the final two innings without allowing a hit and striking out three batters. Short entered the game in the ninth with a man on base and no outs. He promptly got a strikeout and a double play to end the inning.

Ole Miss will face the Knights in the final game of the series at noon today at Swayze Field.

MSU sweeps

STARKVILLE – On a perfect day for baseball, Mississippi State (9-4) recorded victories against Eastern Illinois (2-8) and Michigan State (4-5) Saturday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field. An announced crowd of 9,539 attended the second day of the 2014 Diamond Classic presented by Polk’s Meat Products.

In the first game of the day against Eastern Illinoise, true freshman Reid Humphreys hit a pinch-hit RBI single in the bottom of the ninth for a thrilling walk-off win.

Junior left fielder Jake Vickerson, senior third baseman Alex Detz, junior first baseman Wes Rea and true freshman Gavin Collins each knocked out two base hits. Vickerson and Collins scored all four runs for the Maroon and White. Collins also threw out three base runners and picked off another one from behind the plate.

Junior Trevor Fitts pitched his second quality start of the season in the no decision, giving up one run in 6 2/3 innings of work. The right-hander struck out eight and walked just one. Southpaw Jacob Lindgren improved to 1-0 on the season with 1 2/3 scoreless stanzas, striking out three.

In the Bulldogs’ second game of the day, true freshman Austin Sexton sprinkled three hits across a career-high six shutout innings as the Bulldogs cruised to a 7-1 triumph vs. Michigan State. The righty struck out a career-best four batters, with 46 of his 68 total pitches being strikes.

Humphreys recorded a career-high two hits, including his first career home run to give the home team a 1-0 lead in the second with a solo blast to left. Junior catcher Zack Randolph doubled the lead with an RBI base knock later in the second. Scoring on Randolph’s single was senior Derrick Armstrong, who ended the game with a school-record tying four stolen bases.

Armstrong scored again in the fourth on a RBI by senior Demarcus Henderson, who made it 4-0 by tapping the dish later in the inning.

USM falls

HATTIESBURG – Troy starting pitcher Shane McCain limited Southern Miss to just four hits over seven innings as the visiting Trojans shutout the Golden Eagles 5-0 here Saturday afternoon at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.

    The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Golden Eagles (5-6) and evened the series at one-game apiece with the finale set for today at 1 p.m.

    McCain fanned six and walked just two keeping Southern Miss off balanced for most of the afternoon to get the victory and improve to 2-1. Jeremy McGowan threw the final two frames and gave up just one hit and fanned two to earn his first save of the campaign.