After a dramatic walk-off win in the 10th inning on Saturday, Mississippi State (22-15, 7-8) was far from seeing any drama on Sunday as Ole Miss took the final game of the series with a 12-2 blowout in Starkville.
"I think Ole Miss played really well today and I give them all the credit in the world," John Cohen said. "I'm not sure we could have beaten a junior high team. We were absolutely uninspired in every single aspect of the game, I'm really disappointed. Every bit of it is my fault, we've got to do a better job with our kids. It starts tomorrow with practice. We're really going to do a much better job. Our kids are going to compete or they're not going to be on this baseball team."
State didn't carry the momentum from their extra-inning win into the first inning on Sunday as Ben Bracewell got off to a rocky start putting the Bulldogs in the hole early. Bracewell walked the first batter he faced and a single to the second had runners at the corners and nobody out. A passed ball on a pitch scored the first run and Austin Anderson promptly sent a double in the gap to give the Rebs a 2-0 lead before an out was even recorded. Bracewell settled in and recorded three straight outs but the damage was done early with the 2-0 Rebel lead.
While the Bulldogs couldn't get anything going offensively, the Rebels continued to get some hits and chased Bracewell in the third with two outs giving way to Brandon Woodruff. The junior walked the first batter but got a flyout to end the middle of the third.
In the fourth, the Rebels would extend the lead. J.B. Woodman launched a triple to left center to start the inning. A line drive off of Woodruff looked to be an easy out as Brett Pirtle picked it up but took too much time looking the runner back at third and Will Jamison was safe at first with no outs. Preston Overbey followed that up with an RBI single. A passed ball moved two runners into scoring position and Errol Robinson made them pay with an RBI single of his own to make it 4-0 with still no outs. After a flyout, a runner stole second and a throw down brought the runner from third in to make it 5-0. With two outs, the Rebels kept it going with another single and they took the 6-0 lead in the game.
As MSU continued to get nothing at the plate the Rebels added to the lead. Woodruff got a couple of outs to start the inning, but it was a walk that would hurt him. The runner would steal second and a base hit scored him to take the lead out to 7-0.
Ole Miss added three more runs over the next two innings and took the 10-0 lead but MSU would finally break through in the seventh. State started things with an infield single from Derrick Armstrong and a single through the right side. Reid Humphreys came up big with a pinch-hit RBI double bringing MSU it's first run of the game. A groundout by C.T. Bradford scored another but two runs was all they could muster getting it to 10-2 through seven innings.
The Rebels put two more on the board in the eighth but that would be the final scoring of the day as MSU was blown away in the rubber game and lost their second-straight series. It was also the second-straight Sunday blowout for MSU after getting beat down 17-4 a week ago. State has been outscored 29-6 in the last two weeks on Sunday.
"I think we're not executing the way we want to, especially on the mound, but we're going to in the second half," Cohen said. "Not having Preston Brown hurts but you can't use that as an excuse. We've got to find the right guys."
MSU's pitchers on Sunday weren't the right guys or at least didn't have the right stuff as Bracewell, Woodruff, Laster and Myles Gentry combined to give up 20 hits and 12 runs, both Ole Miss season highs. The staff only struck out four batters.
At the plate, MSU wasn't terrible as Armstrong again led the way with a 2-for-4 day and a run scored. He became the first player with five-straight multi-hit games since Adam Frazier last year. Seven players registered a hit with Seth Heck and Reid Humphreys driving in the only runs.
The Bulldogs now have a midweek ball game against Alcorn State this Tuesday to try to get ready for a weekend series at Missouri.