(Photo Courtesy of Mississippi State Athletics)
Some days you’re the bug, and some days you’re the windshield. Today, the Bulldogs were the bug as they ran into Doug Nikhazy and an Ole Miss team that woke up in a big way after a 5-2 defeat on Friday night. The Rebels took game 2 going away by a score of 9-0. The Bulldog bats were stymied by Nikhazy, who pitched a complete game, 1 hit shutout. The Rebels used timely hitting to hand the Diamond Dawgs a loss and set up a rubber match to close out Super Bulldog Weekend. A reported crowd of 13,338, the 11th largest crowd in Dudy Noble history were on hand for the contest.
Will Bednar (2-1) took the mound for the Bulldogs, and the righty from Valencia, PA just wasn’t himself on the day. Bednar pitched 3 innings, giving up 7 runs (6 earned) on 7 hits while fanning 4. The sophomore struggled to paint corners, and the Rebel bats made him pay for every ball that got too much of the plate. He was followed by Cam Tullar, Mikey Tepper, and Eric Cerantola, but none of the Bulldog arms had an answer for the Ole Miss offense.
The Rebels struck early and often, scoring 1 run in the 1st, and scoring in every inning until the 6th. The Bulldogs were able to put up a 0 spot in the 6 before the visitors scored 1 more in the 7th. The visitors recorded 17 hits on the day compared to just 1 for the home team and sent the Bulldog faithful home from The Carnegie Hall of College Baseball with a bad taste in their mouths.
The Bulldogs looked like a completely different team compared to the squad that took the field on Friday night. Nothing seemed to go right for the Boys in Maroon at any point in the 9-inning contest. Saturday did see the debut of Luke Hancock at 1st base. The Houston, MS native took over the position from Josh Hatcher who seems to be having trouble finding base hits with an average hovering around .200.
In speaking with senior center fielder Rowdey Jordan after the game, he echoed Coach Chris Lemonis’s message to the team, “Don’t get too high, don’t get too low,” and I fully expect the Bulldogs to come out with a new fire tomorrow afternoon. This team has faced adversity before and rebounded quick and strong, so today’s blowout loss is no need to push the panic button.
With just 1 hit on the day, there are no offensive leaders to report from today’s game. Brayland Skinner did record the lone hit with a 5th inning single.
The Diamond Dawgs look to rebound tomorrow and take the series as freshman Jackson Fristoe takes the bump for the M Over S. First pitch is set for 1pm CT.
Recap and Box Score can be found here.
I’ll dedicate today’s music to those fans that are ready to pull the fire alarm after today. We’ve been here before. Be Patient.