STARKVILLE, Miss. — The No. 5 Mississippi State baseball team claimed a 7-5 midweek win over South Alabama Wednesday night during Game of Thrones Night at Dudy Noble Field.
MSU improves to 28-6 on the year, while South Alabama falls to 14-18.
The Jaguars jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Freshman Ethan Wilson hit a leadoff double to right center. A hit batter followed to put two runners on before a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third. Wilson was plated on a wild pitch.
A solo home run to left field from sophomore Justin Foscue tied things up at 1-1 after two innings of baseball. State then added three runs in the third inning to take a 4-1 lead. Junior Gunner Halter singled down the left field line to begin the inning. Senior Jake Mangum then drew a walk to put two runners on base. A double from sophomore Jordan Westburg scored Halter before a two-RBI single from sophomore Tanner Allen allowed Mangum and Westburg to cross home.
After a scoreless fourth inning, South Alabama managed two runs on a two-run home run to right field from Wilson to make it a 4-3 game.
The seventh inning saw the Diamond Dawgs increase their lead to 7-3. Mangum’s one-out double to left center got things going. He then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Westburg drew a walk to put runners on the corner’s before Allen cleared the bases with a three-run home run to center field.
South Alabama began the eighth inning off with a single from redshirt-senior Eddie Paparella. Senior Wells Davis then hit a two-run shot to right field to draw within two runs at 7-5, but that’s as close as the Jaguars would get, as a pair of strikeouts and a flyout ended the game.
Hits were equal on both sides, as the squads managed 11 hits. Allen led the Diamond Dawgs with three hits on four plate appearances. He also finished with a team-high five RBIs. Foscue is the only other State batter to finish with a multi-hit game as he finished with two.
Junior Jack Eagan got the start on the mound and allowed one run on two hits in 2 2⁄3 innings. He struck out four batters and walked two. Freshman right-hander Brandon Smith (2-0) allowed two runs on four hits in 2 1⁄3 innings while earning the win. Junior Riley Self then tossed the sixth and seventh innings. He allowed two runs on four hits and struck out two batters. Graduate student Cole Gordon struck out four batters in two scoreless innings while earning his eighth save on the year.
Senior Patrick McBride (0-2) was charged with the Jaguar loss after throwing two innings where he allowed four runs on six hits.
MSU will be back in action Friday for Super Bulldog Weekend. The Dawgs host Alabama in a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Dudy Noble Field. First pitch Friday is slated for 6:30 p.m. CT and will be televised by SEC Network.