STARKVILLE, Miss. — Despite allowing Maine to score five runs in the top of the sixth inning, No. 8 Mississippi State baseball held on to extend its winning streak to 11 games with a 9-8 win over the Black Bears Sunday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.
With the win the Diamond Dawgs improve to 15-1, while Maine falls to 0-13.
MSU got on the board right away in the bottom of the first to take a 2-0 lead. Senior Jake Mangum led the inning off with a walk before stealing second. Sophomore Tanner Allen followed that up with another walk before a double steal moved Mangum up to third base and Allen to second. A ground out then scored Mangum and junior Dustin Skelton’s RBI single scored Allen.
Skelton’s home run in the bottom of the fourth inning increased the State lead to 3-0.
Maine scored a pair in the top half of the fifth to make it a 3-2 ballgame. Redshirt-senior Bobby Brennan began the inning with a double and junior Cody Pasic followed that up with a single to move him over to third. A sacrifice fly scored Brennan and a single by junior Hernen Sardinas plated Pasic. The Dawgs added three runs in their half of the fifth when Allen and senior Eliah MacNamee singled before Foscue cleared the bases with a three-run home run to left field. MSU led 6-2 after five frames.
The Black Bears then scored five runs on two hits in the top of the sixth inning to take a 7-6 lead over the Dawgs. Maine managed to load the bases after redshirt-junior Caleb Kerbs was hit by a pitch, senior Danny Casals singled and sophomore Joe Bramanti drew a walk. A trio of bases-loaded walks drew Maine within a run at 6-5 before a fielder's choice RBI knotted things up at 6-6. A Sardinas single then plated the go-ahead run for Maine.
The Dawgs managed a run in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie things up at 7-7. Sophomore Rowdey Jordan led the inning of by reaching first after getting hit by a pitch. He then stole second base and third before scoring on a single by freshman Landon Jordan.
The Diamond Dawgs regained the lead in the bottom of the eighth with a pair of runs to make it 9-7. L. Jordan and junior Gunner Halter managed back-to-back bunt singles to put two runners on for Mangum. Mangum followed that up with an RBI single to make it 8-7. A ground out moved Halter over to third before MacNamee’s single through the left side made it 9-7.
Maine added a run in the ninth after a pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases against graduate student Cole Gordon. A fielder’s choice plated a run, but that was all Gordon surrendered, as the Dawgs held on for the 9-8 win.
MSU collected 11 hits in the game. MacNamee, Skelton and L. Jordan each tallied multi-hit games with two apiece. Foscue led the team with four RBIs.
Redshirt-junior right-hander Keegan James got the start on the mound and pitched five innings. He allowed two earned runs on four hits. He struck out four batters and walked a pair in the no-decision.
Senior Peyton Plumlee was the first pitcher to throw in relief. He began the inning by hitting a batter and allowing a single. He then walked a batter before being pulled. Redshirt-junior Jack Eagan then came in and struck out a batter before walking in a pair of runs. Freshman Brandon Smith then walked in a run before allowing another run on a fielder’s choice. Redshirt-junior southpaw Trysten Barlow allowed a run on a single before a strikeout ended the five-run sixth inning. He then struck out two batters and forced a fly out for a scoreless seventh inning.
Junior Colby White (1-0) earned the win after striking out a batter in a perfect eighth inning of work. Gordon then came in to pitch the ninth and earned his fifth save on the year.
Freshman righty Jacob Small (0-1) is charged with the Maine loss. He pitched 1 1⁄3 innings and allowed two earned runs on three hits.
MSU will now host Grambling on Wednesday at Dudy Noble Field. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m. CT and will be televised by SEC Network.