SuperTalk Mississippi
Featured News Latest News Mississippi State Ole Miss Sports

Mississippi State walks off Ole Miss 2-1 to advance in SEC Tournament

Mississippi State Baseball
Mississippi State center fielder Connor Hujsak celebrated with teammates after hitting the walk-off home run to defeat Ole Miss. (Photo courtesy of MSU Athletics)

A low-scoring affair ended in the most dramatic fashion Tuesday night with No. 15 Mississippi State walking off bitter foe Ole Miss to mount a 2-1 win in round one of the SEC Tournament.

Dueling pitchers Riley Maddox and Brooks Auger stole the show for the majority of the game. Maddox, a right-handed junior, was phenomenal on the mound for the 12th-seeded Rebels as he struck out seven batters and did not allow any runs in seven innings pitched.

Likewise, Auger was spectacular on the bump. Outside of a Will Furniss home run ball that bounced out of Connor Hujsak’s glove, the right-handed senior had a dominant showing in front of a Bulldog-heavy crowd in Hoover, Ala. Auger ended his night with 13 strikeouts — one away from doubling his collegiate career-high — and just the one run allowed in eight innings pitched to keep fifth-seeded Mississippi State alive while the bats struggled.

A mostly uneventful night on the offensive front took a wild turn when the game mattered most. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Bulldogs’ hopes of hosting a regional in the upcoming NCAA Tournament were on life support.

Mississippi State shortstop David Mershon drew a lead-off walk to make things interesting. Mershon advanced to second with no outs due to a passed ball Ole Miss catcher Eli Berch could not secure. However, left-handed pitcher Liam Doyle was able to strike Ferris Trophy winner Dakota Jordan out and force slugger Hunter Hines to ground out to put Ole Miss one out away from advancing.

Hujsak, with a golden opportunity to redeem himself after allowing the lone score of the game in the top of the fifth, hit a no-doubter to continue his team’s run in the conference tournament.

With no shot at landing in a regional, Ole Miss (27-29, 11-19 SEC) caps one of the worst seasons of the Mike Bianco era by losing its final six games. Following the Rebels’ 2022 College World Series run that resulted in a national championship, Ole Miss has gone 17-43 against conference opponents.

Mississippi State (37-19, 17-13 SEC), on the other hand, has bounced back after missing the postseason twice since the team’s 2021 national championship. Though a portion of the Bulldogs’ fanbase was uneasy earlier this season as the team struggled, Chris Lemonis’ crew caught fire midway through the 2024 campaign and never looked back.

Tuesday night’s win put Mississippi State back in hosting conversations, but the team has more work to do. As things stand, D1Baseball has the Bulldogs as a two-seed in the Terre Haute Regional hosted by No. 20 Indiana State. A win versus fourth-seeded Texas A&M on Wednesday would certainly boost Mississippi State’s RPI and make Dudy Noble Field a more viable spot for postseason baseball to be played.

The Bulldogs and Aggies will face off 30 minutes after the showdown between Tennessee and Vanderbilt, which is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. CT. Fans can tune in to the game by turning on the SEC Network or listening to participating SuperTalk Mississippi stations.

Related posts

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More