COLUMBIA, S.C. — The No. 4 Mississippi State baseball team claimed its sixth Southeastern Conference series win of 2021 with Saturday’s 9-6 win over No. 18 South Carolina at Founders Park.
MSU (35-10, 16-7 SEC) piled on 14 hits with three home runs. The Bulldogs scored three runs in the first inning and single runs in the next three innings before scoring three in the fifth. South Carolina (27-17, 11-12 SEC) scored one run in the fourth inning, two in the sixth and three in the seventh.
Senior Tanner Allen led the Bulldog offense with a 4-for-5 day at the plate with three RBIs and one run. Junior Luke Hancock was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and one run, while sophomore Logan Tanner recorded three hits, two runs and one RBI.
MSU sophomore starting pitcher Will Bednar (5-1) struck out a career-high 13 batters in six innings pitched to earn the win. He surrendered three runs on six hits.
Junior pitcher Brandon Smith surrendered three unearned runs on two hits in the seventh inning before sophomore Landon Sims closed things out with two scoreless innings to earn his sixth save. He struck out three batters and walked one.
South Carolina freshman starting pitcher Will Sanders (6-3) was charged with the loss after allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits with three strikeouts and one walk in 2 1⁄3 innings.
Senior Rowdey Jordan began the game with a leadoff single through the right side before Allen followed with an RBI triple to right-center field. Hancock then hit a two-run home run to right field to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the second inning, Jordan drew a two-out walk before Allen followed with a single. MSU then executed a double steal, and the throw sailed into right-center field as Jordan scored to make it 4-0.
The Bulldogs increased their lead to 5-0 in the top of the third inning thanks to Tanner’s home run to right-center field. Jordan’s two-out home run in the top of the fourth inning made it a 6-0 ballgame.
In the bottom half of the fourth inning, senior Andrew Eyster homered to right-center to get the Gamecocks on the board.
Tanner led off the top of the fifth inning with a single before graduate student Scotty Dubrule drew a walk. Tanner came around to score on senior Tanner Leggett’s single up the middle. The Bulldogs then attempted a double steal. Leggett was out at second, but Dubrule advanced to third. Forsythe and Jordan followed with back-to-back walks to load the bases before Allen came through with a two-RBI single through the left side to give MSU a 9-1 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Eyster singled to center field before junior Wes Clarke hit a two-run home run to left-center to make it 9-3.
The Gamecocks then scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to draw within three runs at 9-6. A groundout began the frame before senior George Callil reached first on a muffed throw. Junior Brady Allen then reached first on a throwing error to put runners on the corners. Eyster followed with a three-run home run to right-center field to end the game’s scoring.
The Bulldogs will go for the series sweep Sunday at 1 p.m. CT on SEC Network.