COLUMBIA, Mo. — Graduate student RJ Yeager went 3-for-6 with five RBIs and two runs, senior pitcher Brandon Smith struck out eight batters in 7 1⁄3 innings and the Mississippi State baseball team beat Missouri 13-4 Friday night at Taylor Stadium to open a three-game Southeastern Conference series.
The Bulldogs (25-18, 9-10 SEC) compiled 20 hits to 11 by Missouri (22-17, 5-14 SEC). Yeager led the way for MSU with two home runs and a double and junior Kamren James was 4-for-5 with three runs and two RBIs. Sophomore Kellum Clark was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs, while junior Logan Tanner and freshman Hunter Hines also added three hits.
The Tigers were led by senior Josh Day with a 3-for-4 effort with one run and junior Torin Montgomery, who went 2-for-5.
Smith (3-3) earned the win for the Bulldogs after pitching a career-high 7 1⁄3 innings and allowing three runs on nine hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. Senior Drew Talley pitched the final 1 2⁄3 innings and allowed one run on two hits with two strikeouts and one walk.
Freshman pitcher Tony Neubeck (3-2) tossed four innings for the Tigers and was charged with the loss after allowing seven runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Senior Jacob Kush, senior Trae Robertson, sophomore Holden Phelps and sophomore Kyle Brown also saw action.
Yeager led off the game with a home run. In the top of the second, Clark hit a leadoff single to center field and James followed with a single through the left side. Yeager’s double to left field scored Clark and gave MSU a 2-0 lead.
In the top of the fourth inning, James doubled down the third-base line and scored on sophomore Lane Forsythe’s RBI single to right field. Yeager followed with a two-run homer to left field to give the Bulldogs a 5-0 lead.
The Bulldogs plated four more runs in the top of the fifth inning. Hines and senior Brad Cumbest hit back-to-back singles to start things before Clark was walked to load the bases. An RBI single by James scored one run before graduate student Jess Davis brought in two more runs with a two-RBI single to left field. An RBI groundout by Yeager plated James to put MSU ahead 9-0.
In the bottom half of the fifth, Missouri got on the board on a solo home run by sophomore Ross Lovich.
Tanner and Hines began the top of the sixth inning with a pair of singles before they both moved up on a wild pitch. Clark followed with a two-RBI double to right field to make it an 11-1 ballgame.
The Bulldogs added two more in the top of the eighth on a pair of solo home runs by Clark and James before the Tigers answered with two in the bottom half. Redshirt junior Luke Mann hit a leadoff home run to right field and Day followed with a single to right field. He made his way to third on back-to-back walks before Lovich hit a sacrifice fly to score him to make it 13-3.
The Tigers added one more run in the bottom of the ninth inning on freshman Justin Colon’s pinch-hit home run to end the game’s scoring at 13-4.
The Bulldogs and Tigers will play again Saturday at 2 p.m. CT on SEC Network+.