After taking the first two games in dominant fashion, Mississippi State continued their annihilation of the Auburn Tigers in game three with a 10-3 victory that sealed the sweep.
Konnor Pilkington got the nod for State in this one, and for the second consecutive outing, he mowed through the lineup. In 6 innings of work, he gave up three hits, no runs, struck out four, and forced 12 fly outs.
With how Pilkington has pitched in his last two outings, plus some of his earlier performances (looking at y'all, Florida and Alabama), it looks like we may have found a pitching groove for Sundays. I'm not going to guarantee anything, since it's baseball and who knows what could happen in this sport, but it's fair to have that conclusion.
Ryan Rigby came in for relief and didn't show his best stuff, but he got by. In 2 innings, Rigby two hits, one run, and struck out one. Reid Humphreys closed it out for State; although, he did struggle mighty while doing so. In 1 inning if work, he gave up two hits, two runs, and struck out two.
Fortunately, we didn't feel any negative effects from giving up two runs in the 9th, as the game was pretty much signed, sealed, and delivered by that point, thanks to our starting pitching and hitting. Games two and three were very similar in terms of absolute domination of the Auburn pitchers. State plated 10 runs from 13 hits and still stranded 11 runners. The 1-5 hitters in the lineup (Mangum, Kruger, Lowe, Collins, Rooker) combined for 10 of those 13 hits.
The obvious thing that stands out at the plate in this game, and for the entire weekend, is home runs. State hit three balls out of the park in this game alone, from Reid Humphreys, Jack Kruger, and Nate Lowe. Speaking of Nate Lowe, he is a legitimate contender for SEC Player of the Week with his performance, especially on Sunday. He went 3-4 with 3 RBI, scoring three times and tacking on a double and the aforementioned home run.
Let's just face it, this team is red hot right now. We are playing next to perfect baseball currently. You couldn't really ask for much more at this moment in time from this team.
Mississippi State improves to 37-14-1, 18-9 and is just a 1/2 game behind Florida for the SEC lead heading into the final weekend, when State returns to Dudy Noble to face Arkansas in a Thursday-Saturday series.