JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) - No. 21 Mississippi State broke into the win column with a 12-1 victory over Jackson State Wednesday night at Robert Braddy Field.
While MSU and Jackson State have played each other over parts of five different decades, this was the first-ever meeting played on the Jackson State University campus. It was the first of a nine-game, 12-day road trip for the Bulldogs.
"We saw some good swings, certainly better than we had on the weekend," MSU head coach Gary Henderson said. "Rowdey Jordan's first two at-bats were outstanding. Tanner Poole was really great. He was solid at the plate, but he also got to two fly balls a lot of people don't get to in the outfield.
"Scoring runs early was important. We got off to a good start."
JP France drew the start for the Bulldogs (1-3), working three innings. Keegan James threw 3.2 innings in relief. Jared Liebelt followed to the mound, while Riley Self struck out a pair in his one inning of work in the ninth.
"JP really struggled the first couple of innings, but then turned the corner in the third inning, he showed us what we want to see out of him," Henderson said. "You could tell both Keegan and Jared were more comfortable on the mound tonight."
The Bulldogs scored twice in the first inning on an RBI-single by Hunter Vansau and a Jackson State error. A home run by Vansau happened in the first at-bat of a three-run fourth inning.
Also in the fourth inning, a walk to Luke Alexander and base hit by Dustin Skelton followed the home run. Tanner Poole reached as a hit batsman to load the bases.
Rowdey Jordan followed with a two-run single to cap the scoring in the fourth inning.
In the fifth inning, Tanner Poole hit a three-run home run with two outs for an 8-0 lead.
The Bulldogs then added singles scores in the sixth and eighth innings and two runs in the ninth inning. Alexander had a ground-ball RBI in the sixth inning and an RBI-single in the eighth inning. The ninth inning included a run-producing hit from Elijah MacNamee and a sacrifice fly from Hunter Stovall.
Jackson State broke up the shutout with a run scored on a wild pitch in the home half of the eighth inning.
The Diamond Dawgs will head to Texas on Thursday for the Kleberg Bank College Classic, which will be held at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi.
State will begin their weekend on Friday, with a 2 p.m. CT first pitch against UC Santa Barbara. MSU will then take on Nicholls State at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Texas A&M - Corpus Christi at 3 p.m. on Sunday.