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Mississippi State opens NCAA Starkville Regional with 11-6 win over Southern

Kelly Donoho/MSU Athletics

Rowdey Jordan had four hits, including a homer.

Posted: Jun 3, 2019 9:32 AM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics/WTVA) - Postseason baseball is full of heart-pounding, nail-biting and deep-breath moments, and the No. 5 Mississippi State baseball program packed all of those into an 11-6 opening-round victory over Southern in the NCAA Starkville Regional.

The back-and-forth contest started with a first-inning run from Mississippi State (47-13), before Southern (32-23) tied the game with a run in the top of the third. After the Diamond Dawgs plated a run in the bottom of the third, Southern notched three runs in the fourth to grab a 4-2 lead. A four-run fifth inning from MSU gave the hosts a 6-4 edge, but Southern tallied two in the top of the seventh to knot the score at six. A three-run bottom of the seventh gave MSU the lead for good, as it added two more in the eighth to account for the final margin.

Senior Jared Liebelt (2-0) earned the win in relief, as he allowed two runs on four hits in 3 1/3 innings of work. He issued one walk and struck out two, including one with two on base and two outs in the fourth inning to hold Southern's lead to just two runs.

Graduate Student Cole Gordon came in and nailed down his 10th save of the season to move into a tie for No. 7 on the single-season charts with Jay Powell (1991) and Van Johnson (1998). He faced eight batters – with one walk and one hit allowed – and recorded all six outs via strikeout.

The save was also the 15th of his career to move him into a tie for No. 8 all-time with Adam Larson (15; 1999-2001).

Offensively, four Diamond Dawgs posted multi-hit games and seven of the nine starters reached base at least twice. Sophomore Rowdey Jordan tied his career high with four hits, scoring three runs and driving in three RBIs. Jordan hit his sixth home run of the season in the eighth inning. The trio of sophomore Justin Foscue, sophomore Josh Hatcher and junior Dustin Skelton all chipped in two hits.

Sophomore Jordan Westburg delivered the go-ahead RBIs with his only hit of the game in the seventh inning. He also walked twice, stole two bases and scored two runs in the game.

Quick Hitters
Mississippi State
Rally Dawgs – Mississippi State posted its 24th come-from-behind victory of the season against Southern.
Rowdey Jordan – Hit his sixth home run of the season as part of a career-high-tying four-hit game. Drove in three RBIs and scored three runs.
Josh Hatcher – Had a pair of hits, walked and drove in two RBIs.
Cole Gordon – Recorded the final six outs, all via strikeout to earn his 10th save of the season. Issued one walk and allowed one hit. Moved into. No. 7 on the single season charts with his 10th save of the season, which moved his career total to 15 to push him into No. 8 all-time at MSU.
Jordan Westburg – Reached base three times with a single and two walks. Drove in the go-ahead RBIs in the seventh inning with a two-RBI single. Also stole two bases and scored once.

Southern
Javeyon Williams – Went 3-for-3 with two doubles, two runs scored and one RBI.
Johnny Johnson – Hit a two-run home run to account for Southern's only multi-RBI game.

Scoring Recap
Bottom First
Jake Mangum started the inning with a hit-by-pitch and Jordan Westburg walked. The pair moved up one base on a Tanner Allen flyball to right field, before Elijah MacNamee's groundout scored the first run of the game.
Mississippi State 1, Southern 0

Top Third
Southern tied the game up thanks to a pair of hits and one State error. With two outs, Javeyan Williams singled on a bunt, moved to second on a failed pickoff attempt by MSU starting pitcher JT Ginn and came in to score on a Tyler LaPorte single to left field.
Mississippi State 1, Southern 1

Bottom Third
Westburg walked with one out, before stealing second and third base. With two outs, MacNamee walked in front of Justin Foscue's RBI double down the left-field line.
Mississippi State 2, Southern 1

Top Fourth
Brandon Smith replaced Ginn to start the inning and Southern put five of its first seven runners on base and scored twice. After a leadoff single, Smith got a strikeout, before a hit-by-pitch and a stolen base put runners on the corners. Bobby Johnson delivered the first run of the inning with an RBI single to left field, before a Hampton Hudson single loaded the bases. Coby Taylor followed with a bases loaded walk and Williams' sacrifice fly scored the third run of the frame. Jared Liebelt entered and struck out the final batter of the inning.
Southern 4, Mississippi State 2

Bottom Fifth
The Diamond Dawgs got things rolling with one out in the frame, as Allen reached on an infield base hit, before MacNamee flew out to center field. Four-straight hits followed, starting with a Foscue single to put two runners on base. Dustin Skelton drove in the first run with a single and Rowdey Jordan followed with an RBI double. Josh Hatcher delivered the go-ahead runs with a two-RBI double off the Adkerson Plaza wall in right field.
Mississippi State 6 Southern 4

Top Seventh
The Jaguars tied it up with a one-out, two-run home run against Liebelt. After Williams doubled to start the inning, Johnny Johnson hit a flyball to left field that Rowdey Jordan nearly caught and brought back into play, but the ball caromed off his glove for Johnson's fourth home run of the season.
Mississippi State 6 Southern 6

Bottom Seventh
State recaptured the lead thanks to a pair of hits and a Southern error. Jordan started the inning with a single and moved to second on an error by the SU second baseman, which allowed Hatcher to reach base. Marshall Gilbert moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt, before Mangum was intentionally walked. Westburg delivered with the two-RBI single, before a wild pitch allowed Mangum to score the third run of the inning.
Mississippi State 9, Southern 6

Bottom Eighth
A one-out single from Skelton was followed by the sixth home run of the season for Jordan to right field.
Mississippi State 11, Southern 6

Up Next
Mississippi State will play the winner of Miami (Fla.)/Central Michigan at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 1. The loser of the UM/CMU contest will play Southern in the first game of Saturday at Noon.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 482902

Reported Deaths: 9425
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33063488
Hinds31021589
DeSoto30610358
Jackson23687348
Rankin21340370
Lee14909220
Madison14166271
Jones13404227
Forrest13160240
Lauderdale11601305
Lowndes10443176
Lamar10214130
Pearl River9098221
Lafayette8241137
Hancock7514112
Washington7102150
Oktibbeha6964124
Monroe6514164
Neshoba6475201
Warren6464164
Pontotoc630393
Panola6250126
Marshall6126123
Bolivar6115144
Union574186
Pike5613136
Alcorn537290
Lincoln5303131
George471472
Scott459196
Leflore4476140
Prentiss446779
Tippah446480
Itawamba4444100
Adams4416116
Tate4394101
Simpson4335112
Wayne433066
Copiah431787
Yazoo423386
Covington415792
Sunflower4148104
Marion4099104
Leake397586
Coahoma3957100
Newton370875
Grenada3556104
Stone350860
Tishomingo336289
Attala325387
Jasper314162
Winston304691
Clay296473
Chickasaw287065
Clarke282190
Calhoun266141
Holmes262187
Smith250649
Yalobusha221047
Tallahatchie220450
Walthall211058
Greene209045
Lawrence206833
Perry199953
Amite198452
Webster196542
Noxubee178939
Montgomery172454
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162137
Tunica153334
Benton142535
Kemper138640
Choctaw127026
Claiborne126834
Humphreys126637
Franklin116728
Quitman103926
Wilkinson101936
Jefferson91333
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 789054

Reported Deaths: 14022
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1115991765
Mobile708511234
Madison49865633
Shelby36274315
Baldwin36242495
Tuscaloosa33931548
Montgomery33190678
Lee22680220
Calhoun21211410
Morgan19816335
Etowah19300462
Marshall17680274
Houston16823386
St. Clair15442305
Cullman14602258
Limestone14581188
Elmore14480264
Lauderdale13520281
Talladega12958236
DeKalb12199237
Walker10588330
Blount9720157
Autauga9667137
Jackson9385158
Coffee8882175
Dale8609173
Colbert8534184
Tallapoosa6673181
Escambia6591121
Covington6452167
Chilton6385144
Russell607255
Franklin5795101
Chambers5416134
Marion4800120
Dallas4705189
Clarke463279
Pike462397
Geneva4413117
Winston425895
Lawrence4117108
Bibb409381
Barbour347270
Marengo326285
Monroe320053
Butler318290
Randolph305956
Pickens305274
Henry301858
Hale292685
Cherokee289855
Fayette279673
Washington245448
Crenshaw238470
Cleburne235851
Clay228565
Macon220158
Lamar197743
Conecuh182046
Lowndes170758
Coosa170235
Wilcox159736
Bullock149243
Perry136537
Sumter124536
Greene121443
Choctaw73427
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