In the first time the Bulldogs have taken down the Tigers in a series opener since 2007, Mississippi State (26-12-1, 9-7 SEC) beat LSU (26-12, 9-7 SEC) in Baton Rouge last night in a high scoring game that went back and forth up until the eighth inning, when MSU pulled away from the Tigers.
After Jake Mangum, Brent Rooker, and Reid Humphreys all got on base safely with one out in the first, Nate Lowe silenced the LSU faithful and got the scoring started for the Bulldogs with his third home run of the season, a grand slam out to right field to put the Bulldogs up 4-0.
The Tigers wouldn't simply stay down, however, and would find themselves tied 4-4 with the Bulldogs in the fourth inning, after scoring two runs in both the bottom of the second and the third. The score would remain tied up until the sixth inning, when Mississippi State would take a 7-4 lead thanks to a pair of doubles from Hunter Stovall and Gavin Collins.
State would extend their lead up to 9-4 in the top of the seventh after a sacrifice fly out from Jack Kruger and an RBI single from Ryan Gridley. But the Tigers would again attempt to mount a comeback in the bottom half of the inning with a grand slam of their own to bring the score to 9-8.
The Bulldogs would flip the script on the traditional eighth inning meltdown, a trend that has been notoriously cruel to the Bulldogs for the past season and a half, and would outscore the Tigers 3-0 in the inning. After Stovall reached base safely thanks to a passed ball as he struck out, he quickly found himself at third safely. With Humphreys having gotten on first base thanks to a two-out walk, Rooker would bring Stovall home with a single. Nate Lowe would step up again and bring both Rooker and Humphreys home with a two-out double, bringing up the final score of 12-8.
Dakota Hudson (5-3) got his usual Friday start and earned the win, though he had a bit of a shaky outing at times. Hudson threw for 6.1 inning and surrendered seven runs, all earned, on 12 hits while walking three and only striking out three. Ryan Rigby would replace Hudson and throw 1.1 innings in which he gave up a run. Rigby, like Hudson, also struggled with command at times and the two combined to plunk five LSU batters. Rigby would be replaced by Reid Humphreys who came in and earned his fourth save of the season.
Nate Lowe's grand slam was Mississippi State's fourth of the season, the most under John Cohen. The Bulldogs had totaled six combined grand slams in the seven previous years.
As for two-out hitting, something that plagued the Bulldogs last year and has been a boon for them this year, the Bulldogs now have 122 two out RBIs on the season.
Game two is tonight at 6 and will be on ESPNU