STARKVILLE, Miss. — The Mississippi State baseball team tallied 15 hits, including five home runs, and the Bulldogs routed Southern 14-5 on Wednesday night at Dudy Noble Field.
The Bulldogs (13-9, 1-2 SEC) hit four home runs in the first three innings and outhit the Jaguars (4-16, 1-2 SWAC) 15-9.
Freshman Hunter Hines led the MSU offensive attack with a 3-for-5 night at the plate with four RBIs and two runs. Sophomore Kellum Clark was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs, while junior Kamren James was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a run. Senior Brad Cumbest added two hits, two runs and an RBI and junior Logan Tanner finished with two hits and a run.
The Jaguars were led by redshirt freshman Jalon Mack with a 3-for-4 day at the plate with two RBIs, while sophomore Quincy Smith II finished with two hits, one RBI and one run and sophomore JJ Rollon finished with two hits and a run.
Freshman Pico Kohn (1-0) made his first start for the Bulldogs and earned the win after allowing one run on three hits with three strikeouts and one walk in three innings.
Senior Drew Talley followed and allowed four runs on six hits with two strikeouts and a walk in one inning pitched. Senior Brandon Smith, sophomore Brooks Auger and sophomore Jackson Fristoe then combined for 10 strikeouts, with Smith and Auger pithing two innings each and Fristoe striking out the side in the ninth.
Redshirt sophomore Khristian Paul (0-2) was charged with the loss for Southern after allowing nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits with two walks in 2 1⁄3 innings. The Jaguars used eight pitchers in total.
After a scoreless first inning, MSU scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning. Cumbest hit a one-out single to right field and graduate student RJ Yeager drew a walk. A flyout then allowed Cumbest to advance to third. Graduate student Jess Davis hit a double to right-center field to bring in Cumbest, while Yeager scored on an errant throw to second base. James hit a two-run home run to left-center field to give the Bulldogs a 4-0 lead.
The Jaguars got on the board in the top of the third inning to make it 4-1. Redshirt junior Justin Wiley drew a one-out walk and Rollon followed with a double to right-center to put runners on second and third base. A sacrifice fly then plated Wiley.
In the bottom of the third, Tanner led off with a double to left field and Hines followed with an RBI single up the middle. After that, Clark, Cumbest and Yeager hit back-to-back-to-back home runs to give the Bulldogs a 9-1 lead. It marks the first time since 2009 that MSU has hit three home runs in a row.
MSU added three more runs to its lead in the bottom of the fourth inning to make it a 12-1 ballgame. Tanner led off with a double to left-center and junior Von Seibert replaced him. Seibert advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on RBI single from Hines. After Hines was caught stealing second, Clark and Cumbest drew back-to-back walks. Clark scored on a wild pitch before another run came in to score on an error by redshirt senior catcher Taj Porter.
In the top of the fifth inning, Wiley led off with a double down the left-field line and Rollon followed with a single to put runners on the corners. A double steal then allowed Wiley to score. Smith then hit a single and scored on Porter’s RBI double and Mack followed with a two-RBI double to left-center to make it 12-5.
After scoreless sixth and seventh innings, the Bulldogs scored two more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Senior Luke Hancock hit a leadoff single and Hines homered down the right-field line to end the game’s scoring at 14-5.
The Bulldogs will return to action Friday at 6 p.m. CT when they open a three-game series against Alabama at Dudy Noble Field.