STARKVILLE, Miss. — No. 8 Mississippi State baseball’s offense exploded for 14 runs, including an eight-run seventh inning, in a 14-1 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff Wednesday evening at Dudy Noble Field.
After a scoreless first inning, the Dawgs scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a 2-0 lead. Senior Elijah MacNamee started the inning off with a single. He then moved up to second base on a wild pitch. Sophomore Justin Foscue then followed up with a single. He moved up to second on an error, while MacNamee made it to home. A ground out moved Foscue to third before senior Marshall Gilbert’s single plated him to make it 2-0.
The score remained the same until the seventh inning when the Bulldog offense exploded for eight runs on on five hits. The frame began with freshman Brad Cumbest coming in to pinch hit for sophomore Josh Hatcher. Cumbest came in and ripped a double to left center to begin the inning. Freshman Benjamin Bell came in to pinch run for Cumbest and advanced to third on a ground out. After that, senior Jake Mangum was intentionally walked. He then stole second to put runners on second and third. Sophomore Jordan Westburg was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Sophomore Tanner Allen was also hit by a pitch, which scored Bell. MacNamee then reached on a fielder’s choice to score Mangum, Foscue and Gilbert followed that up with back-to-back two-RBI doubles to make it 8-0. Following that, freshman Landon Jordan came in to pinch hit for Bell. A wild pitch moved Gilbert up to third and a single by Jordan scored him. The final run of the big inning came on a RBI single from Mangum.
The Golden Lions ended the State shutout in the top of the eighth inning to make it 10-1. Back-to-back singles from redshirt-freshman Braelin Henc and redshirt-senior Austin Toth started the inning. Freshman Brandon Simon then grounded into double play, but Henc managed to score the Golden Lions’ lone run of the game.
After a ground out began the Dawgs’ half of the eighth, MacNamee drew a walk. That was followed by a double by Foscue to put runners on second and third. A line out scored MacNamee and a double by freshman Luke Hancock, who came in for Gilbert, scored Foscue. Freshman Hayden Jones concluded the MSU scoring with a two-RBI double to make it 14-1.
Foscue led the Diamond Dawgs offensively with four hits, two RBIs and three runs. Gilbert and Mangum also chipped in with multi-hit efforts with two apiece.
Freshman right-hander Eric Cerantola (2-0) got the start on the mound and pitched three scoreless innings on just one hit allowed. He struck out four batters and walked one.
Junior righty Riley Self then came in and threw two shutout innings while striking out a batter. Redshirt-junior Spencer Price, freshman Brandon Smith, freshman Bryce Brock and redshirt-junior Tyler Spring all piched an inning apiece in the win.
Redshirt-sophomore Colton Bochtler (0-1) was charged with the loss for the Golden Lions. He pitched 4 1⁄3 innings, allowing two runs, both earned, on six hits. He struck out three batters and walked one.
The Diamond Dawgs will be back in action Friday when they begin a three-game series against Maine at Dudy Noble Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT and will be televised by SEC Network.