STARKVILLE, Miss. — The No. 4 Mississippi State baseball team scored three runs in the first three innings before scoring seven in the fifth inning as the Bulldogs beat the No. 24 Long Beach State Dirtbags 12-4 in Sunday’s series finale at Dudy Noble Field.
With the win, the Bulldogs avoid being swept and improve to 1-2, while the Dirtbags fall to 2-1.
The Bulldogs tallied 16 total hits. Junior Matt Corder and junior Drew McGowan both recorded two hits and two RBIs, while junior Kamren James and junior Logan Tanner both recorded two hits and one RBI.
Long Beach State had eight hits.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Cade Smith (1-0) earned the win for the Bulldogs after pitching 5 2⁄3 innings, striking out six and allowing one earned run on one hit.
Senior righty Brandon Smith then came on in relief and allowed two runs on four hits with one strikeout and one walk in 1 1⁄3 innings. Right-handed sophomore Brooks Auger worked one inning, allowing one hit and striking out two batters. Sophomore righty Mikey Tepper pitched the final inning and allowed one unearned run on two hits with one strikeout.
Redshirt freshman right-hander Juaron Watts-Brown (0-1) was charged with the loss for the Dirtbags after allowing three earned runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and three walks.
In the bottom of the second inning, graduate student RJ Yeager drew a leadoff walk and Corder followed with a two-run home run to left field to give MSU a 2-0 lead. The Bulldogs added another run to their lead in the bottom of the third inning. James singled and stole second before advancing to third on a balk. An RBI groundout from Tanner scored James to make it 3-0.
The Bulldogs struck for seven runs on six hits in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a commanding 10-0 lead. James reached first after being hit by a pitch. Junior Luke Hancock and Tanner then hit back-to-back singles to load the bases. Freshman Hunter Hines hit a two-RBI single up the middle before Yeager drew a walk to reload the bases. RBI singles from Corder and senior Brad Cumbest followed before a two-RBI single from McGowan made it 9-0. The final run of the inning came on a sacrifice fly from James.
The Dirtbags got on the board in the top of the sixth inning when senior Chris Jimenez drew a walk and scored on an RBI double from sophomore Jonathon Long. Long came around to score on an RBI single through the right side from junior Chase Luttrell to make it a 10-2 ballgame.
The Bulldogs matched those two runs in the bottom half of the sixth when Tanner singled to right-center field and senior Tanner Leggett hit a pinch-hit home run to make it 12-2.
An RBI single by junior Brennan Rozell in the top of the seventh and an RBI single by redshirt freshman Jared Anderson gave Long Beach State two runs and ended the game’s scoring at 12-4.
The Bulldogs will return to the diamond Tuesday when they host Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 3 p.m. CT on SEC Network+.