STARKVILLE, Miss. — Florida sophomore Sterlin Thompson homered to right field in the eighth inning to break a 1-1 tie before the Gators scored four more runs in the ninth to beat Mississippi State 6-2 in Sunday’s series finale at Dudy Noble Field.
With the loss, the Bulldogs drop their fifth consecutive game and fall to 25-23 (9-15 SEC), while the Gators picked up their first Southeastern Conference series sweep of the season and improve to 29-18 (11-13 SEC).
Offensively, MSU was led by junior Logan Tanner with a home run, while freshman Hunter Hines also added an RBI.
Florida was led by Thompson with two hits and three RBIs, while sophomore Wyatt Langford was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a run and sophomore Josh Rivera was 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run.
On the mound, MSU got seven solid innings from sophomore Cade Smith. He allowed just one run on five hits to go with seven strikeouts and two walks. Freshman Pico Kohn (2-1) then pitched the eighth inning and was charged with the loss after allowing the go-ahead homer. Sophomore Jackson Fristoe then allowed four runs on three hits with two walks before senior Drew Talley got the final two outs of the ninth.
Redshirt sophomore Nick Pogue started for the Gators and allowed one run on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk in five innings of work. Freshman Fisher Jameson (1-0) earned the win after pitching four innings, allowing just one hit and one run.
For the first time all weekend, the Bulldogs scored in the first inning. Senior Luke Hancock hit a one-out single up the middle in the bottom of the first inning and Tanner drew a walk. Hines then hit a high popup that was lost in the sun, which allowed Hancock to score to give MSU a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second, freshman Jac Caglianone singled up the middle and freshman Ty Evans followed with a double down the right-field line. Rivera’s RBI groundout then tied the game at 1-1.
The score remained the same until Thompson’s eighth-inning home run to right field broke the tie.
A groundout began the top of the ninth inning before junior Kris Armstrong drew a walk. Rivera then singled up the middle and sophomore Colby Halter drew a walk to load the bases. Two runs scored on Langford’s two-RBI double through the left side before two more scored on Thompson’s two-RBI single to right field to give Florida a 6-1 lead.
MSU added a run in the bottom half of the ninth on Tanner’s solo home run to left field, but it was too little too late as the Bulldogs fell 6-2.
The Bulldogs will return to the diamond Tuesday when they play Samford at 6 p.m. CT at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.