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Mississippi State Takes Game One, Shuts Out Ole Miss 2-0

Three separate weather delays could not cool off Mississippi State’s pitching, which continued its form from a weekend ago. Ethan Small and Jared Liebelt combined on a six hit shutout, as the Bulldogs took game one from Ole Miss 2-0 in Oxford Friday night. State got 2 RBIs from Tanner Allen, who has been the hottest hitter for the Diamond Dawgs as late, and that was enough to capture the series opener. State improves to 40-10, 16-9 in the SEC, and the second team in the country to hit the forty win mark.


Only the weather could stop Ethan Small, who had to leave the game after five shutout innings as a fog delay forced a thirty minute wait between innings. Small continues to make his case for SEC Pitcher of the Year, moving to 7-1 on the season, with 132 K’s to 19 BB. Outside of a sixth inning slip up at Arkansas, Small has basically been untouchable all season, and is a big reason the Bulldogs find themselves well positioned to claim a top 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament.


You don’t see many four out saves any more, but Jared Liebelt simply picked up where Ethan Small left off when play resumed in the bottom of the sixth. Liebelt has turned into State’s most reliable long reliever, and his performance sets MSU to be able to have some flexibility with the bullpen the rest of the weekend.


Mississippi State will look to take the series tomorrow, assuming the weather holds up. First pitch is scheduled for 6 PM, and it will be a battle of two of the best freshmen in the conference, as State’s JT Ginn will face off with Ole Miss lefty Doug Nikhazy. A series win would all but seal up a national seed for MSU, while the Rebels would like to set up a rubber game to remain in the thick of the hosting discussion. Tune in to hear Jim Ellis on your local SuperTalk affiliate to catch all the action.

Picture courtesy of Mississippi State athletics

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