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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.

Confirmed Cases: 13731

Reported Deaths: 652
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds89824
Lauderdale68056
Madison65321
Scott59210
Neshoba51431
Jones49215
Forrest48635
DeSoto4746
Leake38810
Holmes36923
Rankin3566
Jackson29613
Copiah2844
Attala27314
Monroe24624
Lincoln24520
Leflore24126
Harrison2376
Newton2273
Lamar2205
Yazoo2192
Pearl River20527
Pike20011
Adams18815
Noxubee1656
Lowndes1647
Warren1547
Washington1535
Jasper1453
Bolivar14111
Oktibbeha13910
Covington1311
Clarke13116
Smith13110
Kemper12710
Chickasaw12712
Wayne1250
Lafayette1243
Carroll11310
Marion1108
Lee1085
Coahoma1063
Clay993
Winston981
Lawrence941
Hancock8811
Itawamba857
Simpson850
Wilkinson849
Yalobusha845
Montgomery801
Sunflower793
Grenada752
Union725
Marshall713
Jefferson Davis712
Tippah7011
Panola622
Calhoun604
Tate591
Claiborne582
Humphreys537
Amite521
Walthall490
Perry492
Tunica483
Jefferson400
Prentiss393
Choctaw322
Stone300
Webster281
Pontotoc263
Franklin252
Tishomingo250
Quitman240
Tallahatchie241
George201
Benton150
Alcorn141
Greene71
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 15650

Reported Deaths: 580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2033111
Jefferson163091
Montgomery127433
Marshall6509
Tuscaloosa55812
Lee51032
Franklin4676
Shelby44719
Tallapoosa40063
Butler35912
Chambers33724
Madison3024
Baldwin2749
Elmore2707
Walker2391
Etowah23811
DeKalb2263
Dallas2063
Coffee2061
Lowndes19310
Sumter1936
Morgan1761
Houston1724
Autauga1683
Calhoun1463
Pike1450
Choctaw1444
Colbert1422
Marengo1416
Russell1370
Lauderdale1352
Bullock1333
Hale1324
Randolph1247
Wilcox1187
Marion11410
Barbour1131
Clarke1092
St. Clair1041
Pickens934
Greene914
Talladega912
Chilton871
Dale850
Cullman780
Limestone770
Jackson712
Winston670
Covington671
Washington655
Henry642
Macon622
Crenshaw602
Bibb591
Blount491
Lawrence430
Escambia433
Perry350
Geneva350
Coosa341
Monroe332
Cherokee332
Conecuh281
Clay272
Lamar200
Cleburne131
Fayette110
Unassigned00
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