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Offense erupts in No. 2 Mississippi State’s 18-1 win over North Alabama

Bulldogs improve to 17-4.

Mississippi State Athletics

STARKVILLE, Miss. — No. 2 Mississippi State baseball downed North Alabama 18-1 Wednesday night at Dudy Noble Field.

The Bulldogs (17-4, 2-1 SEC) erupted for three runs in the bottom of the first inning, five in the second, three in the third, fourth and fifth innings and one in the sixth. The Lions (1-17, 0-6 ASUN) picked up a run in the top of the eighth.

The MSU bats compiled 14 hits compared to six by North Alabama. Senior Tanner Allen led the way with a 3-for-3 night at the plate with three RBIs and two runs scored. Junior Luke Hancock was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored, while sophomore Kamren James recorded two hits, two RBIs and two runs. Senior Brayland Skinner was 1-for-3 with a two-RBI triple.

Freshman right-hander Mikey Tepper (1-0) made his first career start on the mound and earned the win after tossing two shutout innings. He allowed one hit and struck out three batters. MSU used nine relief pitchers that combined to strike out 12 batters with four walks, five hits and one run.

Freshman righty Will Haberstock (0-3) was charged with the loss for the Lions after allowing eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits with one walk.

In the bottom of the first inning, senior Rowdey Jordan reached first after being hit by a pitch. He then stole second. Allen’s double put runners on second and third before James’ single scored both runners. James scored on a groundout to make it 3-0.

Senior Josh Hatcher drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the second inning before senior Tanner Leggett singled up the middle and stole second. Skinner’s triple to right-center scored both runners. Skinner was plated on Allen’s RBI single. James followed with a single of his own to put runners on the corners before Hancock’s two-RBI single to center field made it an 8-0 ballgame.

The bottom of the third inning started out with a groundout and strikeout before freshman Lane Forsythe drew a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Skinner then drew a walk and Jordan was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A wild pitch scored Forsythe and Allen’s single through the right side scored two more runs to increase the MSU lead to 11-0.

Hancock got the bottom of the fourth inning going by drawing a walk. After a pair of flyouts, Leggett reached on a fielding error. Forsythe then walked to load the bases. An error by the first baseman scored two runs before a bases-loaded walk scored another run to make it 14-0.

The Bulldogs tacked on three more runs in the fifth inning to make it 17-0. Junior Kace Garner reached on a fielder’s choice. After a strikeout, Leggett and graduate student Scotty Dubrule followed with singles to plate one run. Sophomore Kyte McDonald then singled to right field. The right fielder over ran the ball as two runs scored.

A bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the sixth inning scored MSU’s 18th and final run of the game.

North Alabama sophomore Drew Hudson hit a leadoff double to center field in the top of the eighth inning. He then advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on junior Devne Daniel’s RBI single to end the game’s scoring at 18-1.

The Bulldogs return to action Friday when they host No. 3 Arkansas in the first game of a three-game series at Dudy Noble Field. Friday’s game is slated for 6:30 p.m. CT.