AUBURN, Ala. – A five-run third inning, combined with solid pitching, was the difference Saturday afternoon as Mississippi State took game two of a Southeastern Conference game against No. 21 Auburn at Plainsmark Park.
State improves to 19-17 (5-9 SEC), while Auburn dropped to 24-12 (5-9 SEC).
Coming off an SEC series win last weekend against Ole Miss, MSU will look for its second straight conference series win today.
The Diamond Dawgs took a 5-0 lead in the top of the third inning. Hunter Stovall hit a two-RBI single, which scored Tanner Allen and Luke Alexander. Marshall Gilbert then hit a three-RBI double to make it 5-0.
The Tigers scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame off a single from Steven Williams and a single from Edouard Julien to make it 5-2.
In the fourth inning, Rowdey Jordan hit a leadoff double. Jake Mangum and Stovall followed with RBI-singles to extend the lead to 7-2.
The Diamond Dawgs had 11 hits and the Tigers were held to just five. Stovall led the way with three hits. Jordan also had a solid afternoon with two hits.
Ethan Small (3-3) pitched seven innings in the win. He allowed two runs, both earned, on four hits. He struck out seven batters and walked two.
JP France pitched the the final two innings of play, allowing just one hit. He struck out two batters.
Davis Daniel was charged with the loss for Auburn. The starter pitched just three innings, allowing six runs, all earned, on seven hits. He struck out five batters and walked two.
The series will be decided today with a 1 p.m. CT first pitch. The game will air on SEC Network+.