STARKVILLE, Miss. — After dropping the series opener 1-0 on Friday, the Diamond Dawg offense compiled 13 hits in an 8-1 win over the Southern Miss Golden Eagles Saturday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.
State moves to 5-1 on the season and hands Southern Miss its first loss of the season. The Golden Eagles now sit at 4-1 on the year.
The Dawgs jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second as sophomore Justin Foscue homered to left field to begin the four-run frame. Junior Dustin Skelton and senior Marshall Gilbert followed with a pair of singles. Gilbert was then out at second but junior Gunner Halter made it to first. A trio of singles from senior Jake Mangum and sophomores Jordan Westburg and Tanner Allen scored three runs to cap off the four-run second inning.
MSU then got a lead-off single from Foscue in the bottom of the fifth inning, which was followed by a two-run shot from Skelton to make it a 6-0 ballgame. It was Skelton’s second career home run.
Skelton then hit another home run in the seventh to increase the MSU lead to 7-0. The Golden Eagles scored their only run in the top of the eighth when redshirt-sophomore Gabe Montenegro tripled and scored on a single from redshirt-freshman Will McGillis. Mangum drew a leadoff walk to start the eighth inning for State’s half of the eighth. He worked his way to third on a pair of Southern Miss errors before Allen hit an RBI-ground out to make it 8-1.
Freshman right-hander JT Ginn (2-0) earned his second win in as many starts. He pitched an impressive seven innings where he allowed just two hits and fanned nine batters.
Freshman righty Brandon Smith then pitched the eighth and junior Colby White threw the ninth. Smith allowed one earned run on two hits to go along with one strikeout, White struck out one the three batters he faced in the final frame.
Southern Miss starter Stevie Powers (1-1) is charged with the loss after throwing 1 2/3 innings and allowing four earned runs on six hits. He struck out one and walked one.
The Diamond Dawgs and Golden Eagles will return to the diamond again tomorrow for a 1 p.m. rubber-match at Dudy Noble.