STARKVILLE, Miss. — The No. 7 Mississippi State baseball team rallied for 18 runs on 18 hits in an 18-1 win over Grambling State Wednesday night at Dudy Noble Field.
MSU, now 16-1, scored two runs in the fourth inning, five in the fifth, five in the sixth, four in the seventh and two in the eighth. The Tigers, 7-9, scored a run in the top of the fourth.
After a flyout began the top of the fourth, Grambling State’s Garrett Smith drew a walk. A ground out moved him to second before a pair of errors scored him to make it 1-0. The Dawgs responded with two runs in their half to take a 2-1 lead, and they never looked back. Sophomore Tanner Allen led off with single. Senior Elijah MacNamee followed up with a single and advanced to second after an error. Allen also scored on the play. Sophomore Josh Hatcher’s two-out double plated MacNamee to give MSU the 2-1 lead.
The bottom of the fifth inning opened up with a Tiger error, which allowed junior Gunner Halter to reach first. Senior Jake Mangum then singled to score him before sophomore Jordan Westburg’s triple scored Mangum to make it 4-1. Allen then drew a walk, whch was followed by a sacrifice fly. A single by freshman Luke Hancock and a triple by Hatcher scored the final two runs of the frame to make it 7-1.
The Dawgs scored five more runs in the sixth on five hits. A trio of singles from Halter, Mangum and Westburg loaded the bases for MSU. Allen then drew a bases-loaded walk to score a run before MacNamee cleared the bases with a grand slam to give the Dawgs a commanding 12-1 lead.
Walks to Halter and Magum put two runners on base to begin the bottom of the seventh inning. Allen then singled to load the bases. Back-to-back singles from freshman Bryce Brock and Hancock and a wild pitch scored four runs to push the MSU lead to 16-1.
A pair of RBI-doubles from Mangum and Allen in the eighth scored the final two runs of the game to give MSU an 18-1 win. The Dawgs have now won 12 straight games.
Mangum led MSU with four hits on the evening, which gives him 301 career hits as a member of the MSU baseball program. He becomes just the fifth Diamond Dawg to reach the 300-hit mark.
Allen went 3-for-3, including two RBIs and four runs in the contest. Westburg, MacNamee, Hancock and Hatcher all had two hits apiece in the win. MacNamee led State with five RBIs.
Senior right-hander Peyton Plumlee got the start on the mound for the Dawgs. He pitched three scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and struck out three batters. Freshman Eric Cerentola (3-0) earned the win after throwing two innings of relief. He allowed no hits, but allowed an unearned run to go along with three walks and four strikeouts.
Senior righty Andy Escano (0-2) started on the mound for the Tigers and surrendered six runs, three earned, on six hits. He had four strikeouts and three walks in four innings pitched.
The Dawgs will now travel to Gainesville, Fla. to take on the Gators in their first Southeastern Conference action of the season. The three-game series begins Friday with a first pitch slated for 5:30 p.m. CT at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.