Rebels rally past Bulldogs for win
By By Ryan Satcher / staff writer
April 14, 2004
JACKSON Ole Miss scored seven runs in the final three innings on Tuesday night to pick up a 10-4 win over Mississippi State in the 25th annual Entergy Mayor's Trophy game at Smith-Wills Stadium.
The Rebels fell behind after a couple of bad breaks but battled back to take their third win over State in four chances this season.
The win marks the third straight Mayor's Trophy game win for the Rebels and is their fifth win in six years in the event. Nearly 5,300 were in attendance to watch the contest, which doesn't count as a Southeastern Conference game.
The game was also former Meridian Community College and West Lauderdale High School standout Todd Doolittle's debut as a starting pitcher for the Bulldogs.
Doolittle went four innings and gave up three runs on four hits. He walked four and struck out five batters in the no decision.
He cruised through the first two innings before hitting a speed bump in the third. The Rebels used three hits in the inning to pickup three runs.
Barry Gunther started the rally with a double to right and Cooper Osteen followed with a walk. After a fielder's choice by Matt Tolbert moved Gunther to third base, a wild pitch bounced away from State catcher Craig Tatom. Tatom tried the throw the ball to Doolittle, who was covering home, but the throw got away to allow Gunther to score and Tolbert to move to third.
Stephen Head followed with an RBI double, and Brian Pettway brought in Head with a single for a 3-0 lead.
Mississippi State slowly battled back with a run in the fourth on a single by Brad Jones and a run in the fifth on a single by Jeffrey Rea to cut the score to 3-2.
The Bulldogs took the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Brad Corley started the inning with a single and Tyler Scarbrough walked.
With two outs, Joseph Hunter delivered a clutch hit to right to bring in Corley. The ball skipped away from the catcher on the play at the plate to allow Scarbrough to come around to give State a 4-3 advantage.
The lead didn't last long, however, as Ole Miss answered with three runs in the top of the seventh inning.
Osteen singled and Head followed with a one-out single. Pettway knocked in Osteen to tie the game, and Chris Coghlan reached on an infield single to load the bases.
Charlie Babineaux brought in a run with a sacrifice fly to center to make the score 5-4. Seth Smith dribbled a ball through the infield for a base hit to bring in the final Ole Miss run of the inning for a 6-4 lead.
The Rebels added another run in the eighth inning after Osteen tripled and scored on a single by Tolbert to make the score 7-4.
Meanwhile, Zick was dominant on the mound for the Rebels. The 6-foot-1 senior retired seven straight batters in his 2 2/3 innings of work and struck out four straight batters before giving way to Anthony Cupps in the ninth inning.
Ole Miss added three runs in the top of the ninth inning led by a two-run single by Gunther and held off the Bulldogs to improve to 27-6 for the year.
The Rebels will take on Arkansas State tonight in Oxford before hosting Tennessee in a big SEC series this weekend. The Bulldogs fall to 21-12 for the season and will host Florida this weekend.