BATON ROUGE, La. — The No. 3 Mississippi State baseball team opened Southeastern Conference play with a 6-1 win over No. 13 LSU on Friday night in the first game of a three-game series at Alex Box Stadium.
The Bulldogs (15-3, 1-0 SEC) scored two runs in the top of the fifth inning, one in the seventh and three in the eighth, while the Tigers (15-4, 0-1 SEC) scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the sixth.
Senior Brayland Skinner led the MSU offense with a 3-for-3 night at the plate with three RBIs. Freshman Lane Forsythe recorded two hits and an RBI, while senior Josh Hatcher added two hits and two runs scored.
Junior southpaw Christian MacLeod (2-1) struck out nine batters in six innings pitched to earn the win. He surrendered three hits, two walks and one run. Junior right-hander Brandon Smith then struck out three batters and allowed one hit in the final three innings to earn his first save of the season.
Junior righty Jaden Hill (2-2) was charged with the loss for the Tigers. He worked 7 1⁄3 innings, allowing nine hits, six runs and collecting two strikeouts.
The ballgame was scoreless through four innings before MSU took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth. Hatcher led the inning off with a double and Skinner followed with a two-run home run to right field.
LSU cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the sixth when sophomore Cade Doughty hit a two-out single and scored on an RBI double from junior Gavin Dugas to make it 2-1.
In the seventh inning, Hatcher doubled to left field and scored on Skinner’s single up the middle to increase the MSU lead to 3-1.
Seniors Rowdey Jordan and Tanner Allen and sophomore Kamren James began the eighth inning with a trio of singles. After a flyout, sophomore Logan Tanner singled through the left side to score two runs. Forsythe plated the final run with an RBI single to give the Bulldogs a 6-1 win.
The series continues Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CT and can be watched on SEC Network+.