Coming into this midweek game off of a series win over SEC foe Georgia, Mississippi State was able to take care of business over Southern Miss in Pearl, 13-5.
In what is now the norm for midweek contests, Konnor Pilkington got the start for the Bulldogs. Through his first 3 innings, Pilkington was rolling through the Golden Eagle lineup, but he found his struggles in the 4th inning. Other than that one inning blunder, Pilkington had a solid day, throwing 3 1/3 innings, giving up five hits, two runs, and striking out four.
Ryan Rigby replaced Pilkington in the 4th, and he continued his success. Rigby threw 2 2/3 innings, gave up two hits, no runs, and struck out three. Rigby could have pitched longer, but I'm presuming John Cohen and Wes Johnson wanted to save him for this weekend. Vance Tatum replaced Rigby and continued his struggles. In 1 inning of work, Tatum gave up three hits, three runs, and struck out nobody. I truly have no idea what has happened to Tatum, be he has been in a major slump on the mound as of late. Reid Humphreys closed the game out for MSU, giving up one hit and striking out four in 2 innings.
The biggest success for State in this ballgame was hitting. Although stranding 12 runners, State was able to string together 13 runs from 18 hits. The best individual performances came from Nate Lowe (4-5, 3 RBI, 2 runs), Jacob Robson (3-5, 2 RBI, 3 runs), and Elih Morrero (3-4, 1 RBI, 3 runs).
Continuing on with hitting, the biggest key to success for the Bulldogs, similar to the Vanderbilt game two, was 2 out hitting. We were able to plate 11 runs with 2 outs, which was ultimately the difference in the ballgame.
This is a huge win for us. Going into this ballgame, Southern Miss had a RPI of 13. Going into a four weekend SEC gauntlet of Ole Miss, Florida, Texas A&M, and LSU, these midweek wins over quality opponents are absolutely gigantic.
Mississippi State improves to 18-7-1 on the year and will now face arch rival Ole Miss in Starkville.