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: 314710

Reported Deaths: 7254
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21646260
Hinds20369416
Harrison17949309
Rankin13643278
Jackson13450246
Madison10113217
Lee9986174
Jones8384163
Forrest7689152
Lauderdale7198240
Lowndes6403148
Lamar623686
Lafayette6203119
Washington5341134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462998
Panola4596107
Pearl River4519146
Marshall4450103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420872
Monroe4115133
Union411176
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3969110
Hancock379586
Leflore3498125
Sunflower336290
Tate334784
Pike3327105
Scott316274
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311770
Itawamba300577
Copiah297465
Coahoma295579
Simpson295388
Tippah288768
Adams286982
Prentiss280060
Marion269380
Leake268473
Wayne262841
Grenada261587
Covington259881
George248148
Newton246862
Winston227581
Tishomingo227067
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw208057
Holmes189174
Clay185554
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178941
Clarke178080
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164638
Smith162534
Walthall134245
Greene130633
Lawrence128724
Montgomery127142
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton100025
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67531
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 537813

Reported Deaths: 11024
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson791691529
Mobile41177808
Madison35002507
Tuscaloosa25871454
Shelby25076249
Montgomery24549591
Baldwin21290309
Lee15946171
Calhoun14556319
Morgan14364280
Etowah13890353
Marshall12262223
Houston10602282
Elmore10115206
Limestone10031151
St. Clair9890245
Cullman9730194
Lauderdale9449243
DeKalb8853188
Talladega8325176
Walker7259277
Autauga6971108
Jackson6830112
Blount6750139
Colbert6317134
Coffee5546119
Dale4869113
Russell444338
Chilton4343113
Franklin426282
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4040152
Escambia394577
Chambers3581123
Dallas3564153
Clarke351361
Marion3137101
Pike311977
Lawrence302298
Winston275673
Bibb263064
Geneva252577
Marengo249664
Pickens234862
Barbour231956
Hale223677
Butler217869
Fayette212462
Henry189644
Cherokee184345
Randolph182042
Monroe178140
Washington167639
Macon160750
Clay156957
Crenshaw153357
Cleburne149241
Lamar143035
Lowndes139653
Wilcox127430
Bullock123041
Conecuh110629
Coosa108928
Perry107826
Sumter104932
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
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