STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics/WTVA) - The No. 5 Mississippi State baseball team got 17 hits from its offense and the pitching staff allowed just three runs in a 13-3 victory over Alabama at Dudy Noble Field on Sunday (April 14). The win gave MSU its first series sweep of the SEC season and moved the Bulldogs atop the SEC West standings at the midway point of the conference slate.
The offense got things rolling from the get-go, as Mississippi State (31-6, 10-5 SEC) scored three runs in both the first and second innings to get out to the early lead against Alabama (23-14, 4-11 SEC). A single run in the fourth for MSU was followed by an Alabama score in the fifth, before State added two more in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The scoring was capped with each team pushing across multiple runs in the seventh, as Alabama plated two and Mississippi State scored four.
In all, eight MSU hitters collected hits, with five of those multi-hit efforts, and six different Diamond Dawgs drove in RBIs, including three multi-RBI games.
Senior Jake Mangum posted his 100th career multi-hit game with a 2-for-6 afternoon at the plate and scored three runs to become the eighth Diamond Dawg to reach the 200-runs scored mark in program history.
Sophomore Tanner Allen posted four hits in the game – three of those doubles – scored three runs and drove in one RBI. Sophomores Justin Foscue and Rowdey Jordan each collected three hits and drove in three RBIs in the game. Senior Marshall Gilbert added two hits, two runs scored and an RBI, which included his third home run of the season to set a career-high in that category.
Freshman JT Ginn threw four scoreless innings and allowed four hits. He didn't walk a batter and struck out four, before handing the ball to graduate student Cole Gordon (4-0). Gordon allowed three runs on five hits in 2 2/3 innings of work to earn the win. Junior Riley Self struck out two and allowed just one hit in 1 1/3 innings, while junior Colby White threw the ninth inning scoreless.
Head Coach Chris Lemonis
On getting the sweep
"It was good. We talked about it last night, and we talked about it this morning. The difference in sweeping or going 2-1 is a two-game [swing], and for us, we need to make up some ground so it was big for us this weekend and as we move forward."
On the offensive attack on Sunday versus the Alabama starting pitcher
"That is the game plan every day: be on the fastballs and see the off-speed up. Work gap-to-gap. We had a great plan against that guy today and it showed. I think we had six runs in the first two innings off of him. He had a good arm. Ninety-four [miles per hour] fastball. He had a good curveball, but we were able to put good at-bats together and manufacture runs. That was the difference of the game."
On what it meant to finish the sweep of the series
"It feels good. I think we played really good baseball this weekend and we looked really good in all aspects of the game. It was good to go out there and get a good dominant win right there."
Jake Mangum – Moved his career hit total to 244 with a 2-for-6 night at the plate. Scored three runs to move his career total 200 runs scored, becoming the eighth Diamond Dawg to reach the mark. Pushed his hitting streak to 17 games
Sophomores Pile It On – The four sophomores in the lineup accounted for 11 hits, six runs scored and nine RBIs in the game.
Tanner Allen – Posted a career-high four hits, which included three doubles. Scored three runs and drove in one RBI.
Marshall Gilbert – Hit a home run for the second-straight game and now has a career-high three home runs on the year. Was 2-for-3 at the plate on the game and scored two runs.
Rowdey and The Fosc – Rowdey Jordan and Justin Foscue both posted three hits and drove in three RBIs. Foscue also scored a run. Jordan was on base four times, as he added a walk.
Dustin Skelton – Singled and drove in one RBI to move his reached base streak to 21 games.
Keith Holcobe – Doubled, scored a run and drove in one RBI in the game.
Johnny Hawk – Homered as part of a 2-for-4 day at the plate.
Jake Mangum started the frame with an infield base hit and Jordan Westburg walked, before Alabama starting pitcher Casey Cobb got the next two outs. With runners on second and third, Justin Foscue doubled down the right field line to plate both runners. After a Rowdey Jordan single, Dustin Skelton's base hit scored the third run of the inning.
Mississippi State 3, Alabama 0
Mangum stood on second with two outs, before four-straight hits accounted for three more runs. Tanner Allen doubled to score Mangum, before an Elijah MacNamee doubled pushed the second run of the frame across. Foscue singled to put runners on the corners, before Jordan's base hit scored the third run of the inning and sixth of the game.
Mississippi State 6, Alabama 0
Allen doubled to lead off the frame, before the next two batters were retired. Jordan then delivered a two-out RBI single.
Mississippi State 7, Alabama 0
A solo home run from Johnny Hawk opened the scoring for Alabama with one out against reliever Cole Gordon.
Mississippi State 7, Alabama 1
Marshall Gilbert hit a home run in the second-straight game to lead off the inning. Mangum followed with a single, moved to second on a balk and advanced to third on a wild pitch, before Westburg drove in the run with a sacrifice fly.
Mississippi State 9, Alabama 1
Alabama added two runs in the seventh, both coming with two outs. Gordon retired the first two batters, before John Trousdale walked and came around to score on Keith Holcombe's double to straight-away center field. After another walk, Morgan McCollough singled to score Holcombe. Riley Self came in to relieve Gordon
Mississippi State 9, Alabama 3
A walk to Gilbert started the inning, before Mangum was retired for the first out. Westburg followed with a double to plate the first run of the inning and he scored eventually scored on a wild pitch. Allen reached via single, before moving to second on the wild pitch and, after a walk to MacNamee, scored on a Foscue single. MacNamee scored on a Jordan ground to account for the final run of the inning.
Mississippi State 13, Alabama 3
Mississippi State will host Texas Southern in a $2 midweek matchup, with tickets for the game just $2, at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16. The Diamond Dawgs will then hit the road for a three-game series starting on Thursday, April 18 at Arkansas. The series opener will air on ESPNU starting at 8 p.m. CT.