STARKVILLE, Miss. — No. 8 Mississippi State baseball beat No. 14 East Carolina 4-1 Tuesday evening in a top-15 matchup at Dudy Noble Field.
The Diamond Dawgs have now won seven straight games and improve to 11-1 on the year, while East Carolina falls to 8-5. MSU scored a run in the first inning and a run in the fifth, sixth and seventh en route to the 4-1 win.
The Dawgs took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Senior Jake Mangum and sophomore Jordan Westburg led off the game with a pair of singles and moved up one base on a Tanner Allen groundout. Senior Elijah MacNamee then opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Mangum.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the fifth inning when the Dawgs made it a 2-0 ballgame. Sophomore Rowdey Jordan led off with a walk before a sacrifice bunt moved him up to second. Junior Gunner Halter then followed up with a single through the right side, scoring Jordan from second to give MSU a two-run lead.
After a strikeout by senior right-hander Peyton Plumlee began the top of the sixth inning, ECU’s Thomas Francisco drew a walk and came around to score on a double to right-center field by senior Turner Brown to make it 2-1. The Dawgs responded with a run in their half of the sixth to increase the lead back to two runs at 3-1. MacNamee opened the frame with a leadoff walk before advancing to second on a wild pitch. A groundout moved him over to third and a fielding error scored him.
State then got an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh inning to make it a 4-1 ballgame. After a Mangum groundout began the inning, Westburg followed up with a double to right center. He then was plated by a MacNamee single.
Redshirt-junior right-hander Keegan James (2-0) got the start and threw two scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts to earn the win.
Redshirt-junior Jack Eagan then threw one scoreless inning, before Plumlee came on to throw three innings, allowing one run and striking out four batters. Redshirt-junior Trysten Barlow, junior Colby White and graduate student Cole Gordon each tossed scoreless innings to help close out the win. Barlow fanned three batters, White struck out one and Gordon fanned four in the ninth inning, with one reaching on a wild pitch. Gordon earned his fourth save of the season.
Sophomore righty Gavin Williams (1-1) was charged with the Pirate loss. Williams allowed two earned runs on four hits. He struck out two batters and walked three.
As a team, MSU out-hit the Pirates 6-4. Westburg led the Dawgs offensively after going 3-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
State will now continue its homestand with a showdown with Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Dudy Noble Field on Wednesday. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. CT.