STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics/WTVA) - The 18th largest crowd in program history watched as the No. 2 Mississippi State baseball program evened its series with No. 16 Auburn behind a dominant pitching performance from freshman JT Ginn and a 20-hit barrage from the offense, equating to a 15-2 victory on Saturday (March 23) at Dudy Noble Field.
In front of 12,343 fans – the 51st crowd of 10,000-plus in program history – Ginn (6-0) worked a career-high-tying seven innings and allowed two runs on three hits. He walked one batter, hit one batter and struck out six to win his sixth-straight decision to begin his career. He allowed one run in the second and one in the eighth, retiring 11-straight batters between the fourth and seventh innings.
The Bulldog (21-3, 3-2 SEC) offense churned out a season-high 20 hits against five Tiger (20-3, 4-1 SEC) pitchers, including six for extra bases. Eight walks and a pair of Auburn errors helped the cause, leading to the 15-run outburst.
Five MSU hitters contributed multi-hit games, led by a four-hit day from senior Jake Mangum. Sophomores Rowdey Jordan and Jordan Westburg, and junior Gunner Halter each posted three-hit games, while sophomore Justin Foscue added a two-hit effort. Westburg accounted for five RBIs in the contest, while Rowdey Jordan and Landon Jordan each drove in two RBIs.
Head Coach Chris Lemonis
On how Friday's result played into Saturday's game
"Early on, it played out a lot like last night. In the first couple of innings we left some guys on. [Our guys] were very focused and ready to play like always. They usually come ready to go. We were very offensive today. In the second and third we left a couple of guys on, but we were still having great at-bats."
On how the team keeps the intensity going on Sunday
"I don't know, it's kind of the make-up of our team. I felt like we've had that all year. I made a comment to them, I think it was at Samford, because we had a lot of travel and a lot going on. They show up to play every day. It's a gritty group. They really love to play the game. They pretty much show up and have that intensity. Like somebody said earlier, they were a little upset last night and they had something to prove [today]."
JT Ginn – Struck out six batters in seven innings of work. Allowed two runs on three hits. Won his sixth-straight decision to begin his career.
Multi-Hit Efforts – Five Diamond Dawgs contributed multi-hit efforts in the game, including four hits from Jake Mangum, three from Gunner Halter, Rowdey Jordan and Jordan Westburg, and two from Justin Foscue.
Crossing the Plate – Nine different Bulldogs scored runs, including two runs scored by Tanner Allen, Elijah MacNamee, Dustin Skelton, Foscue, Halter and Rowdey Jordan.
Rowdey Jordan – Scored twice, drove in two RBIs and had three hits in the game.
Jordan Westburg – Drove in five RBIs in the game. Added one walk to his three-hit day at the plate. Doubled and homered in the contest.
Judd Ward – Had one hit, one RBI and one runs scored.
Conor Davis – Reached base twice, with a hit and a hit-by-pitch. Scored one run.
Ten hitters went to the plate in the bottom of the first inning and five scored to get State off to another quick start. Jake Mangum singled to start things and came around to score on a Jordan Westburg double to left-center field. Back-to-back RBI singles from Justin Foscue and Dustin Skelton made it a 3-0 game, before Rowdey Jordan singled to push Foscue across and Skelton came in to score on the play thanks to a error by the Auburn left fielder.
Mississippi State 5, Auburn 0
After a Conor Davis singled and Ryan Bliss doubled to put runners on second and third with no outs, JT Ginn got a pair of groundouts – the second plating a run – and a flyout to give up just one run in the inning.
Mississippi State 5, Auburn 1
Mississippi State got two more in the fifth inning, as Jordan, Gunner Halter and Mangum each singled with one out to load the bases. Westburg then singled up the middle to plate a pair of runs.
Mississippi State 7, Auburn 1
Halter doubled to start the inning and moved to third on Mangum's single to right field. Westburg followed with a sacrifice fly to plate the eighth run of the game for MSU.
Mississippi State 8, Auburn 1
Auburn got one run back in the eighth, as a leadoff single by Judd Ward ended the outing for Ginn. Jared Liebelt entered and gave up a double to move Ward to third. Two batters later, Steven Williams' sacrifice fly brought in the second Tiger run of the game.
Mississippi State 8, Auburn 2
Eleven bulldogs came to the plate in the eighth, with eight of those reaching base and seven of them scoring to put the game out of reach. The first five MSU hitters of the inning reached base, with Landon Jordan delivering the first runs of the frame via a two-RBI single. Rowdey Jordan followed with an RBI double and a passed ball accounted for the fourth run of the frame. Halter drove in run No. 5 in the inning with a ground out, before Westburg hit his second home run of the season – a solo shot – to left-center field. Tanner Allen chipped in a two-out single, moved to third on a Brad Cumbest double and scored on a wild pitch.
Mississippi State 15, Auburn 2
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