13 Mar

pitching in

Four wins in five games, including a weekend sweep against Furman, propelled Ole Miss to the No. 18 spot in Baseball America’s new Top 25. The Rebels (11-5) aren’t hitting (.246 as a team) – the cause of much hand-wringing in Rebel Nation — but when your pitching staff allows just two runs over five games, you can still win. The Rebels make a rare road trip on Tuesday to play Nicholls State at MGM Park in Biloxi. … Mississippi State got a brilliant pitching performance from Konnor Pilkington on Friday to beat South Alabama 2-0. The sophomore left-hander struck out 13 in 7 2/3 innings. Clutch hits on Sunday by Brant Blaylock (a walk-off knock vs. Columbia) and Brent Rooker (a tie-breaking home run vs. South Alabama) gave the Bulldogs (10-6) a spotless record for the weather-interrupted weekend event heading into a matchup today against Columbia. … Southern Miss yielded two runs in three games against Xavier (Ohio) over the weekend but won only two of the three games. Hayden Roberts and J.C. Keys put up zeroes in their Saturday starts as USM swept the doubleheader without allowing a run. Kirk McCarty pitched well enough to win on Friday, but the Golden Eagles were shut out. USM’s staff ERA is now 3.36. The Eagles take an 11-4 mark into a two-game set with Columbia on Tuesday and Wednesday. … Jackson State’s Miguel Yrigoyen threw a five-hitter with eight strikeouts in a 4-1 win against Alabama State on Sunday. Yrigoyen’s gem prevented the Hornets from sweeping JSU (10-6) in the SWAC series at Braddy Field. … Corey Beard notched his third win and Zach Osbon his third save as Delta State beat West Georgia 5-2 in the first of two games on Sunday in Cleveland. DSU, 14-6 and ranked 18th in NCAA Division II, lost the second contest 8-4; the rubber game in the Gulf South Conference series is today. P.S. Thirty high school teams, including a couple from Alabama, will assemble on the Coast this week for the inaugural Battle at the Beach tournament. Games start today and will be played at several Coast schools as well as MGM Park.