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Kellum Clark leads No. 23 Mississippi State baseball to 11-2 win over Princeton

Bulldogs improve to 8-7.

Sloane Bush/MSU Athletics

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Sophomore Kellum Clark finished with three hits and seven RBIs Friday night to lead No. 23 Mississippi State to an 11-2 win in the opening game of a three-game series against Princeton at Dudy Noble Field.

The Bulldogs (8-7, 0-0 SEC) scored three runs in the first inning, one in the second, two in the third, one in both the fifth and sixth innings and three in the eighth inning. The Tigers (0-9, 0-0 Ivy League) scored one run in the first inning and one run in the sixth.

In addition to Clark, senior Brad Cumbest, senior Luke Hancock and Kamren James all finished with multiple hits. Sophomore Lane Forsythe was 1-for-4 with two RBIs.

Junior Brendan Cumming led Princeton with a 3-for-5 night at the plate with one RBI and one run, while junior Nadir Lewis was 2-for-4.

Junior pitcher Preston Johnson (2-0) started on the mound for the Bulldogs and earned the win after tossing six innings with a career-high 10 strikeouts. He allowed just two runs on six hits and walked two batters.

Freshman Pico Kohn then pitched two scoreless innings while allowing two hits and striking out three batters and walking one. Senior Drew Talley pitched the final inning, allowing two hits and striking out two batters.

Junior pitcher Jackson Emus (0-2) started for the Tigers and was charged with the loss after allowing six runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and three walks in three innings of work. Junior Eric Hoefer then allowed five runs on five hits with five strikeouts and three walks in 4 23 innings. Junior Caden MacDonald got the final out.

After Cumming led off the game with a home run, the Bulldogs answered with three runs in the bottom half of the first inning to take a 3-1 lead. Hancock led off with a ground-rule double down the left-field line and freshman Hunter Hines drew a one-out walk. After a flyout, Clark hit a three-run home run to center field.

In the bottom of the second inning, Hancock hit a one-out single and James followed with another single to put runners on the corners. Junior Logan Tanner’s RBI single up the middle made it 4-1.

Freshman Slate Alford drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the third inning and senior Tanner Leggett followed with a double to left field. Forsythe brought them home with a two-RBI single through the left side to increase MSU’s lead to 6-1.

A home run by Cumbest in the bottom of the fifth inning made it a 7-1 ballgame before the Tigers scored a run in the top if the sixth to make it 7-2. Sophomore Matt Scannell drew a walk and scored on junior Noah Granet’s double. In the bottom half, Hines drew a walk and scored on Clark’s RBI double to left-center field to push the Bulldog lead to 8-2.

Hancock was hit by a pitch to begin the bottom of the eighth inning and Tanner drew a two-out walk. Clark followed with his second three-run home run of the game to end the game’s scoring at 11-2.

Due to weather, MSU’s second game against Princeton has been moved to Sunday. The Bulldogs and Tigers will play a doubleheader on Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. CT. The first game will be nine innings and the second game will be seven innings.