STARKVILLE, Miss. — The No. 2 Mississippi State baseball team turned in a dominating 15-4 midweek victory over Little Rock Tuesday evening at Dudy Noble Field.
With the win the Dawgs improve to 19-2 (2-1 SEC), while Little Rock falls to 6-15.
Four MSU players turned in multi-hit performances, with senior Jake Mangum leading the with five of State’s 15 hits. Sophomore Jordan Westburg added three hits, while sophomore Tanner Allen, sophomore Josh Hatcher and freshman Hayden Jones finished with two hits apiece.
The Trojans got the game going with four runs in the top of the first inning on two hits. Senior Christian Reyes hit a leadoff single before redshirt-sophomore Alec Benavides drew a walk. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch. A hit batter loaded the bases before senior James Gann hit a three-run double to to center field. Three consecutive walks scored Gann. MSU responded with four runs in the bottom half to knot things up at 4-4. Mangum started with a triple before Westburg singled to score him. Westburg then moved up to to second on a wild pitch. A fielder’s choice allowed Allen to reach first and Westburg to move to third. A walk to senior Elijah MacNamee then loaded the bases. A run scored after Hatcher drew a walk before Jones hit a two-RBI single to make it 4-4.
The Dawgs then scored a run in the second inning after sophomore Rowdey Jordan drew a walk and came around to score. MSU scored two more runs in the fifth inning to take a 7-4 lead. Hatcher began the inning with a triple, but was out at home after a dropped fly ball allowed Jones to reach first. A walk to freshman Landon Jordan put two runners on for Mangum, who responded with a two-RBI double down the line.
Stated broke the game wide open in the sixth inning by scoring eight runs on seven hits. Allen started the big inning off with a single before moving up to second on a wild pitch. MacNamee followed that up with a single to put runners on the corners. Sophomore Justin Foscue doubled to score Allen before a Hatcher single scored MacNamee. A fielder’s choice and an error scored two more runs before Mangum’s single scored a run. Westburg’s single and Allen’s double rounded out the eight-run frame.
The final three innings remained the same, as MSU went on to win 15-4.
Freshman Eric Cerantola got the strat on the mound, but was pulled after just two outs on eight batters faced. He allowed four runs, all earned, on two hits. He struck out one batter and walked three.
Redshirt-junior southpaw Jack Eagan (1-0) then came in and tossed 1 1⁄3 innings, where he allowed no runs on no hits and struck out three batters. Freshman Brandon Smith then allowed just one hit in four innings of work. He fanned five batters and walked one. Junior Riley Self then pitched the seventh before freshman Bryce Brock threw the eighth and ninth innings.
Senior Ethan Daily is charged with the Trojan loss and falls to 0-2 on the season. He allowed a run on three hits and four walks. He also struck out three batters in 3 2⁄3 innings of work.
MSU will now head to Birmingham, Ala. to face Samford on Wednesday with a a 6 p.m. CT first pitch.