STARKVILLE, Miss. — The No. 5 Mississippi State baseball team used a six-run fifth inning to come away with an 8-3 win over Kent State Friday night in the opening game of a three-game series at Dudy Noble Field.
The Bulldogs (7-2, 0-0 SEC) outhit the Golden Flashes 6-4 and were led by senior Rowdey Jordan with two hits. Senior Tanner Allen, sophomore Logan Tanner, junior Luke Hancock and junior Landon Jordan each recorded one hit apiece. Hancock produced two RBIs.
Left-handed junior pitcher Christian MacLeod pitched 1 2⁄3 innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits with four strikeouts and three walks. MSU’s bullpen then retired 22 of the final 23 batters, including 19 in a row, and struck out 15 batters.
Junior righty Brandon Smith (2-0) earned the win after retiring all 13 batters he faced in 4 1⁄3 innings of work.
Kent State senior southpaw Collin Romel (0-2) was charged with the loss after allowing six runs (five earned) on four hits in four innings of relief pitching. He struck out four batters and walked three.
The Golden Flashes (3-3, 0-0 MAC) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when graduate student Cam Touchette singled to center field and scored on an RBI single from sophomore Justin Miknis. The Bulldogs tied things up in the bottom half when Rowdey Jordan tripled to left field and was plated by graduate student Scotty Dubrule’s groundout.
Kent State scored two runs in the in the second inning to take a 3-1 lead. Sophomore Mack Timbrook homered to right field. After that, a walk, a single and another walk loaded the bases. A wild pitch scored the second run of the inning.
After two scoreless innings, MSU erupted for six runs on four hits in the fifth inning to take a 7-3 lead. Rowdey Jordan led off with a single and Dubrule followed with a walk. Allen’s single plated Rowdey Jordan. Tanner then drew a walk to load the bases. Senior Josh Hatcher was hit by a pitch to score Dubrule and Hancock followed with a two-RBI single. A fielder’s choice scored Hatcher before the final run was plated on an RBI single from Landon Jordan.
In the eighth inning, Allen drew a two-out walk, stole second and scored on Tanner’s single to make it an 8-3 ballgame.
The squads return to the diamond Saturday for a 2 p.m. CT first pitch. It can be watched on SEC Network+.