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Favorite Bulldog Moments of 2016: No. 13 - Winning the Baseball Series against Florida

My favorite moments during the calendar year.

Reid Humphreys stands at the plate. Photo Credit: Kelly Price, @HailStatePics
Kelly Price: @HailStatePics

The Mississippi St. Bulldogs entered their season with the top ranked Florida Gators on a pretty good roll. The Bulldogs had won two of three games against their first three conference opponents and were making some pretty serious noise after having a few non-conference snafus.

The Bulldogs had a pretty established formula at this point. They rode the dominant performances of Dakota Hudson on Friday night and Austin Sexton on Saturdays to claim the series, but they hadn’t figured out how to win on Sunday yet.

Dakota Hudson entered the Florida series as arguably the best pitcher in the first half of the season. Most Bulldog fans assumed we would need to win Friday to have a chance to win the series. So when he got hammered Friday night and the Bulldogs took their first Friday night loss during the conference portion of the schedule, things looked grim.

But the Bulldogs battled back. Austin Sexton was hit hard, but he never let the Gators get completely back in the game after the Bulldogs jumped out to a 9-0 lead. State won game 2 and decided to go in a different direction for their starter on Sunday.

Daniel Brown had been the normal Sunday starter, but John Cohen decided to give Freshman Konnor Pilkington his first SEC start. Pilkington did just enough. He pitched four innings without giving up a run and gave way to Zac Houston who had one of his best outings of the year. After the Bulldogs put runs on the board in the fifth and seventh innings, Reid Humphreys came in to pick up the save.

It was one of the loudest statements the baseball team would make all season long. People had begun to think there was the possibility this team could be special, but after they won the series with Florida, most people really began to believe at this point.