Diamond Dawgs open series with 6-5 win over LSU

Justin Foscue homered twice in the win.

Posted: Mar 28, 2019 11:38 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics/WTVA) - It was almost exactly how you would draw it up. While the No. 2 Mississippi State baseball program fell behind early on Thursday (March 28) night, it scored six-straight runs, got 10 strikeouts from redshirt-junior starting pitcher Ethan Small and a solid effort from three bullpen arms helped the series-opening win, 6-5, over No. 17 LSU at Dudy Noble Field.

With the tandem of Tom Hart and Kyle Peterson calling the game from the Left Field Lofts on ESPNU, Small (3-0) posted his fifth double-digit strikeout game of the season for MSU (24-3, 5-2 SEC). With 10 strikeouts, the left hander held the LSU (17-9, 4-3 SEC) to just two runs on three hits.

Offensively, it was the longball that did most of the talking on Thursday night. Sophomore Justin Foscue posted his first-career multi-home run game with a three-run shot to left field in the third to open the scoring for MSU, before hitting the second of back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning. Foscue followed a solo home run by senior Elijah MacNamee in the fifth, for what proved to be the game-winning run.

Four Diamond Dawgs posted multi-hit games, with sophomores Josh Hatcher, Jordan Westburg and Foscue joining junior Dustin Skelton with three hits. MacNamee and Westburg each plated one RBI, while Foscue added the other four RBIs for MSU.

The three bullpen arms piled up seven strikeouts and didn't walk a batter. The trio of redshirt-junior Trysten Barlow and, seniors Jared Liebelt and Cole Gordon combined to allow six hits and three runs in 1 1/3 of work apiece. Gordon picked up his seventh save of the season by retiring three of the four batters he faced at the plate, with the game ending on a caught stealing at second base.

Quotable
Head Coach Chris Lemonis
On Ethan Small
"Just the command. His command is always so good, and he really threw that breaking ball for strikes tonight. He hadn't had to use it a lot, but with all these left-handed hitters, he commanded his breaking ball and his changeup. The bottom of the fifth was a long inning for us with two video replays, it wore on him a little bit, so we got him out a little early tonight, but I thought he was really good."

On why the bullpen was so good
"They all had good stuff. They've been through the war. I have a fifth-year senior and two seniors. It's older, mature guys who've had good years. They're confident, and they're pitching well. Even [Jared] Liebelt, I saw him when I was walking in. I said, 'hey man shake it off and be ready to go tomorrow.' He said, 'Hey coach they hit a couple of good pitches.' If that happens to a freshman, his head is down, but these older guys, they've just been here too long. They understand there are good hitters in the box. I thought they all had great stuff. Sometimes if they hit us, they hit us. I worry more when we're not throwing strikes and not showing poise on the mound."

Quick Hitters
Mississippi State
Ethan Small – Posted his fifth double-digit strikeout game of the season and sixth of his career. Threw five innings and allowed two runs on three hits to earn his third win of the season. Also walked four batters.
Justin Foscue – Posted his first-career multi-home run game and drove in four of MSU's six runs. Was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
Jordan Westburg – Collected multiple extra-base hits for the fourth-straight game and drove in one RBI.
Elijah MacNamee – Moved his reached base streak to 22 games by reaching base three times. Hit his fourth home run of the season and scored twice.
Great Crowd – The 9,797 fans in the stands on Thursday night marked the largest Thursday night crowd in program history. The previous best was 7,628 against LSU on May 18, 2017.

LSU
Daniel Cabrera – Opened the scoring with a two-run home run. Also singled and scored in the game.
CJ Willis – Drove in a run with a pinch-hit double in the eighth inning.
Chris Reid – Drove in a pair of runs after entering as a defensive replacement. Singled twice and walked.

Scoring Recap
Top First
After Ethan Small struck out the first two batters of the inning, before a walk to Antoine Duplantis. Following the walk, Daniel Cabrera hit a two-run home run to right field.
LSU 2, Mississippi State 0

Bottom Third
The Diamond Dawgs got on the board with a pair of extra base hits and a hit-by-pitch. Jake Mangum opened the frame with a double, before Elijah MacNamee was hit by a pitch with two outs. Justin Foscue followed with his eighth home run of the season to left field.
Mississippi State 3, LSU 2

Bottom Fourth
Josh Hatcher got things started with a leadoff single and moved to second on a Gunner Halter sacrifice. Westburg brought him home with a two-out, RBI double.
Mississippi State 4, LSU 2

Bottom Fifth
Back-to-back home runs started the frame, as MacNamee and Foscue each deposited baseballs over the left-field fence to push MSU ahead by four.
Mississippi State 6, LSU 2

Top Eighth
Singles from Cabrera and Giovanni DiGiacomo started the inning before a pair of groundouts scored the first run. A double from pinch hitter CJ Willis made it a 6-4 game, before Chris Reid singled to push across LSU's fifth run of the game. Cole Gordon entered and retired the final batter of the frame to preserve the lead.
Mississippi State 6, LSU 5

Up Next
Mississippi State and LSU continue its series at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 29, with the game airing on the SEC Network. The series will conclude at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 30.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319381

Reported Deaths: 7354
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22264265
Hinds20634421
Harrison18381316
Rankin13862282
Jackson13677248
Madison10234224
Lee10050176
Jones8458167
Forrest7821153
Lauderdale7257242
Lowndes6498149
Lamar633688
Lafayette6298120
Washington5418136
Bolivar4835133
Panola4663110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4597146
Marshall4572105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc424973
Monroe4155135
Union415576
Neshoba4059179
Lincoln4007111
Hancock386087
Leflore3515125
Tate342386
Sunflower339391
Pike3366110
Alcorn324172
Scott319374
Yazoo314171
Itawamba305077
Adams304885
Copiah299766
Coahoma298383
Simpson298189
Tippah291568
Prentiss283561
Leake271774
Marion271280
Covington267083
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George251951
Newton248563
Tishomingo231267
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210459
Holmes190374
Clay187554
Stone187433
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174032
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135247
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee127934
Perry126638
Amite126142
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Tunica108027
Jefferson Davis107833
Claiborne103030
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96628
Franklin85023
Quitman81816
Choctaw79018
Wilkinson69332
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 547873

Reported Deaths: 11274
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809141565
Mobile41984826
Madison35629523
Tuscaloosa26147458
Shelby25580254
Montgomery25075611
Baldwin21805313
Lee16248175
Calhoun14710325
Morgan14618285
Etowah14160362
Marshall12446230
Houston10757288
Elmore10292212
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10155250
Cullman9928200
Lauderdale9591248
DeKalb8963189
Talladega8455184
Walker7330280
Autauga7229113
Blount6937139
Jackson6905113
Colbert6406139
Coffee5622126
Dale4929114
Russell454541
Chilton4470116
Franklin430783
Covington4267122
Tallapoosa4127154
Escambia401180
Chambers3723123
Dallas3606156
Clarke352861
Marion3237106
Pike313978
Lawrence3124100
Winston283272
Bibb267664
Geneva257081
Marengo250665
Pickens236662
Barbour234559
Hale226678
Butler223771
Fayette217762
Henry193743
Cherokee187245
Randolph186944
Monroe179141
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155157
Cleburne153144
Lamar146237
Lowndes142053
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113230
Coosa111429
Perry108726
Sumter105732
Greene93434
Choctaw61725
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