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Diamond Dawgs Take Series Finale With Southern Miss in 4-3 Walk-off Win

MSU improves to 6-1 after the rubber-match win.

Hail State Pics/Mississippi State Athletics

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Sophomore Tanner Allen hit a double down the left field line to score sophomore Jordan Westburg and give the Diamond Dawgs a 4-3 rubber-match win over the Southern Miss Golden Eagles Sunday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.

MSU improves to 6-1 on the season, while Southern Miss drops to 4-2.

The Dawgs got the scoring going in the bottom of the first after Westburg doubled and later scored on an RBI-single by Allen.

The Golden Eagles tied things up at 1-1 in the top of the third after senior Fred Franklin drew a leadoff walk and scored after senior Hunter Slater singled to left field. Southern Miss managed to load the bases with two outs, but MSU starting pitcher Keegan James forced a flyout to limit the damage to a single run.

The Dawgs then answered with two runs in their half of the third to regain a 3-1 lead. After a strikeout to begin the frame, Senior Jake Mangum drew a walk. Westburg followed with a single before Allen was intentionally walked to load the bases. Senior Elijah MacNamee then hit a two-RBI double to make it 3-1.

After a scoreless top of the third from Southern Miss, the Diamond Dawgs managed to load the bases in the fourth inning after freshman Hayden Jones doubled, freshman Landon Jordan reached on an error and Mangum drew a walk. However, back-to-back strikeouts ended the MSU threat. MSU got another lead-off double in the fifth, but still nothing to show for it as the score remained 3-1.

The Golden Eagles scored a pair of runs in the top of the sixth to tie things up at 3-3 after freshman Hunter LeBlanc homered to right and Franklin hit an RBI-single.

The score remained tied until the bottom of the ninth when Westburg reached first on a throwing error and came around to score on Allen’s walk-off double to give the Diamond Dawgs the 4-3 series-clinching win.

James got the start on the mound for State and pitched three innings, allowing one earned run on three hits in the no-decision effort. He struck out four batters and walked four.

Senior righty Jared Liebelt pitched a scoreless fourth inning where he struck out a batter and walked a batter. Redshirt-junior Jack Eagan then pitched 1 1⁄2 innings. He allowed one run on two hits and struck out two batters. Junior Riley Self entered to get the final out in the sixth, but failed to get an out after allowing a run on three straight hits. Redshirt-junior Trysten Barlow then kept Southern Miss off the board in 1 1⁄3 innings of work.

Cole Gordon (2-0) pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth while earning the win. He walked three batters and struck out two.

Senior right-hander Mason Strickland got the start on the mound for the Golden Eagles and pitched 2 1⁄3 innings. He allowed three runs—all earned—on four hits. He struck out one batter and walked two.

Redshirt-freshman Ryan Och (1-1) was charged with the loss after coming into the game in the ninth inning.

The Diamond Dawgs will now focus their attention to their midweek contest with Jackson State on Tuesday at Dudy Noble Field. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. CT and will be televised by the SEC Network.