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Mississippi State baseball dominates UT Martin 13-2 in midweek action

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Bulldogs improve to 18-12.

Sloane Bush/MSU Athletics

STARKVILLE, Miss. — The Mississippi State baseball team recorded 14 hits, including a school-record six home runs, to dominate UT Martin 13-2 Tuesday night at Dudy Noble Field.

The Bulldogs (18-12, 4-5 SEC) scored 10 runs in the first three innings before scoring one run in the fourth inning and two in the sixth inning. The Skyhawks scored both their runs in the third inning.

Senior Luke Hancock led MSU with a 3-for-3 night at the plate with two home runs, four RBIs and two runs scored. Senior Brad Cumbest was also 3-3 as he hit a home run, scored three runs and accounted for one RBI. Senior Tanner Leggett was 2-for-3 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs, sophomore Kellum Clark was 2-for-3 with one home run and freshman Hunter Hines was 1-for-3 with a home run.

UT Martin was led by senior Casey Harford, who went 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run, while redshirt junior Jack Culumovic was 1-for-3 with a home run.

Senior pitcher Brandon Smith (2-1) started for the Bulldogs and earned the win after allowing two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts in four innings pitched. Sophomore Mikey Tepper then pitched the next two innings and fanned four batters, walked one and allowed just one hit. Junior KC Hunt pitched the final inning and retired all three batters he faced with one strikeout.

Freshman pitcher Noah Walters (1-1) started for the Skyhawks and was charged with the loss after allowing three runs on four hits in one inning pitched. Freshman J. Henry Hobson pitched the next two innings and allowed seven runs on seven hits with one strikeout and two walks. Junior Seth Petry, senior Blake Davis and redshirt freshman Baylor Jones also saw action.

In the bottom of the third inning, junior Kamren James hit a one-out single and stole second and third base. Hancock followed with a two-run home run to right field before Hines hit a home run to right field to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead.

MSU added three more runs to its lead in the bottom of the second inning to take a 6-0 lead. Cumbest led off with a single through the left side and graduate student RJ Yeager was hit by a pitch. Leggett then bunted and reached second base on an error by the pitcher, scoring Cumbest, RBI sacrifice flies from James and junior Logan Tanner scored two more runs.

The top of the third inning began with a groundout before Culumovic and Harford hit back-to-back home runs to make it a 6-2 ballgame.

In the bottom half of the third, Clark hit a leadoff home run to center field and Cumbest followed with a double to right-center field. After a flyout, Leggett homered down the left-field line. The final run of the frame came when James drew a walk, stole second and scored on Hancock’s RBI single up the middle to give the Bulldogs a 10-2 lead.

Cumbest’s home run to left-center in the bottom of the fourth inning pushed MSU’s lead to 11-2 before Hancock’s home run in the bottom of the sixth inning made it 12-2. A wild pitch plated MSU’s 13th run of the game.

The Bulldogs return to action Friday when they open a three-game series against No. 19 LSU at 7 p.m. CT at Dudy Noble Field on SEC Network. The series continues Saturday at 2 p.m. on SEC Network+, while the series finale will begin Sunday at 1 p.m. on SEC Network+.