PEARL, Miss. — Senior left-handed pitcher Houston Harding (1-1) struck out nine batters in five innings as the No. 5 Mississippi State baseball team topped Southern Miss 4-1 Wednesday night at Trustmark Park.
With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 6-2 (0-0 SEC), while the Golden Eagles fall to 4-4 (0-0 C-USA).
MSU sophomore Logan Tanner went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, while graduate student Scotty Dubrule went 2-for-3 and scored two runs. Senior Tanner Allen went 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run. Junior Brad Cumbest chipped in with a 2-for-3 night at the plate with a run scored.
Bulldog pitchers combined for 20 strikeouts, three walks and three hits allowed. Along with his nine strikeouts, Harding allowed one run on two hits and a walk. Junior righty Preston Johnson then struck out six of the eight batters he faced in his MSU debut.
Junior southpaw Cameron Tullar pitched a clean eighth inning with two strikeouts before sophomore righty Stone Simmons earned his first save with a walk and three strikeouts in the ninth.
Sophomore lefty Drew Boyd (1-1) was charged with the Southern Miss loss after tossing 4 1⁄3 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits with two strikeouts and a walk.
The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Dubrule reached on a fielding error and scored on an RBI single by Tanner.
The Golden Eagles tied things up at 1-1 in the top of the third inning when sophomore Blake Johnson led off with a double, moved to third on freshman Dustin Dickerson’s single to left field and scored when Cumbest threw over Tanner’s head at the plate for an error.
Cumbest made up for it in the bottom half of the third when he led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly from senior Rowdey Jordan to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead.
MSU added two runs to its lead in the fifth inning on RBI singles from Allen and Tanner to give the Bulldogs a 4-1 win.
The Bulldogs will be back in action on Friday at 6 p.m. CT for the first game of a three-game series against Kent State at Dudy Noble Field. The series will continue Saturday at 2 p.m. and will conclude with a noon first pitch on Sunday. The Bulldogs were originally scheduled to host Tennessee Tech, but the series was canceled due to positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing within the Tennessee Tech program.