Entering a series in which they have to sweep to have any legitimate shot at the SEC title, Mississippi State blanked Arkansas in game one, 7-0.
Dakota Hudson started for Mississippi State, and for the second consecutive outing, he threw a complete game shutout. In 9 innings, Hudson gave up five hits, no runs, struck out ten, and forced nine ground outs. I think it's fair to say Hudson's back in his early form and is once again looking like a for sure first round pick.
Dakota Hudson's performance on the bump will get the headlines, but the Bulldogs' performance at the plate was just as good. State plated seven runs off twelve hits and the 1-4 in the lineup (Jake Mangum, Jack Kruger, Nate Lowe, Gavin Collins) produced ten of those twelve hits. Five of the 1-4's ten hits came from Jake Mangum, who went 5-5, scored three runs, and upped his average to .423 on the year. At this moment, I don't think anyone else deserves the SEC Freshman of the Year award more than Jake Mangum.
State got off to a fast start, taking a 1-0 lead thanks to a sac fly by Brent Rooker that scored Mangum in the 1st. The Bulldogs scored three runs in the 3rd from a throwing error that scored Mangum, a Gavin Collins sac fly that scored Jacl Kruger, and an RBI single from Jacob Robson that scored Nate Lowe. State tacked on another run in the 5th; Gavin Collins scored from a wild pitch, and two more in the 6th from an error that scored John Holland and a Nate Lowe RBI double that scored Jake Mangum. Hudson closed the deal on his spectacular outing to seal a 7-0 Bulldog victory.
Mississippi State improves to 38-14-1, 19-9 on the year and sits a half game back from Florida for the SEC lead. Around the conference, Ole Miss didn't pull out the much needed win over Texas A&M in game one (a 6-1 Aggie victory) and game one of the Florida-LSU series was postponed due to weather.
The 19 SEC wins State has is the most under any John Cohen Bulldog team, and they will look to add the elusive 20th win against Arkansas on Friday at 6:30 PM on the SEC Network +.