STARKVILLE, Miss. — The No. 2 Mississippi State baseball team routed Mississippi Valley State in an 18-5 win Tuesday night at Dudy Noble Field.
MSU improves to 23-3 with the win, while Mississippi Valley State falls to 5-9 on the year.
Sophomore Rowdey Jordan led the Diamond Dawgs with four hits in five plate appearances. Sophomore Jordan Westburg finished with a team-high four RBIs on 3-for-5 hitting. Three other MSU hitters joined them with multi-hit efforts, including senior Jake Mangum (2), sophomore Justin Foscue (2) and junior Dustin Skelton (2). As a team, the Dawgs out-ht MVSU 17-2.
MVSU got on the board first in the top of the first inning, scoring three runs on no hits. Sophomore Willie Johnson drew a walk to leadoff the game and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Senior Morgan Lomax then reached on a catcher’s interference call. Two hit-batters then scored two runs. Starting pitcher Eric Cerantola was then pulled for senior Peyton Plumlee. A wild pitch scored the third run of the inning.
The Dawgs got a run back in the bottom of the second on a solo shot to left field from Foscue. It’s his seventh home run on the year. MSU scored four more runs in the third inning to take a 5-3 lead. Junior Gunner Halter began the inning by reaching first on a fielding error by the shortstop. Mangum then singled to put two runners on for Westburg. Westburg followed up with a three-run homer to right field. An RBI ground out from Jordan ended the scoring for the third.
The Delta Devils then got two runs in the fourth inning to knot things up at 5-5. After a ground out began the inning, senior Jordan Sawyer doubled to left center. He then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Johnson was then walked before a double steal scored Sawyer. Johnson then stole home to tie things up.
The Dawgs then scored 13 unanswered runs, including an eight-run eighth inning.
State scored two runs in the fifth inning after a two-RBI single from senior Elijah MacNamee scored Westburg, who scored after doubling, and sophomore Tanner Allen, who scored after reaching first on a fielding error.
The Seventh inning saw three runs on five MSU singles to give the Dawgs a 10-5 lead. After Westburg struck out, Allen singled to the shortstop. MacNamee flew out before Foscue, Jordan, Skelton and sophomore Josh Hatcher all hit singles. Skelton was credited with two RBIs in the inning, while Hatcher picked up the other.
The Diamond Dawg offense then exploded for eight runs on five hits to make it a 18-5 game. Mangum began the inning with a single before moving to second on a balk. Westburg then drew a walk and Mangum moved to third on a wild pitch. Westburg followed that up by stealing second before Allen drew a walk to load the bases. MacNamee and Foscue hit back-to-back sacrifice flyballs to score Mangum and Westburg. Jordan and Skelton followed up with an RBI double and an RBI single, respectively. Skelton then singled to left center to score Jordan. Freshman Landon Jordan, who came in to pinch hit for Hatcher, singled to left center. Halter was then hit by a pitch. Skelton scored on a wild pitch before a fielding error scored L. Jordan. Westburg’s RBI single scored Halter before a wild pitch scored Mangum.
Plumlee pitched 3 2⁄3 innings of relief after coming in for Cerantola in the first. He allowed two earned runs on two hits. He struck out five batters and walked three. Redshirt-junior Tyler Spring then came into the game in the fifth inning and allowed two base runners before being relieved by senior Jared Liebelt (1-0). Liebelt got the final two outs of the fifth and struck out a batter. Junior Colby White then tossed a perfect inning before redshirt-junior Jack Eagan pitched two perfect innings and redshirt-junior Spencer Price pitched the ninth.
Lomax (0-1) is charged with the MVSU loss after coming in from center field to pitch the fifth. He allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits.
The Dawgs will be back in action Thursday when they host LSU for the first game of a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Dudy Noble Field. First pitch on Thursday is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT and will be televised by ESPNU.