STARKVILLE, Miss. — Senior Jake Mangum singled to right field in the bottom of the second to load the bases, but it wasn’t just any ordinary single, as Mangum became the Southeastern Conference’s career hits leader with that single (353). The Diamond Dawgs (35-9, 12-8 SEC) went on to win the game and the SEC series with a 9-3 game two win over the Georgia Bulldogs (33-11, 13-7 SEC) Saturday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.
Mangum finished 3-for-5 with one RBI and one run, giving him 354 hits for his career. Sophomore Justin Foscue joined him with three hits while also finishing with a team-high three RBIs. Sophomore Jordan Westburg and junior Gunner Halter each added two hits and an RBI apiece in the contest.
State took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Mangum led off with a single to tie the SEC career hits record with a leadoff single to right center. A strikeout and flyout followed, but Mangum moved up to second on a wild pitch. Senior Elijah MacNamee then drew a walk before Foscue hit a three-run homer to left field.
State added a run to its lead in the second inning. Freshman Luke Hancock drew a one-out walk before a single from Halter and single No. 353 for Mangum loaded the bases. Hancock scored on a sacrifice fly to make it a 4-0 ballgame. Sophomore Rowdey Jordan’s solo home run to right field in the third inning pushed the Diamond Dawg lead to 5-0.
Georgia ended the shutout in the fourth inning when a trio of two-out singles from redshirt-freshman Chaney Rogers, redshirt-junior Patrick Sullivan and redshirt-sophomore Mason Meadows made it a 5-1 game.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the seventh when MSU scored four runs on five hits to take a 9-1 lead. Westburg led off with a double to right center and advanced to third on a passed ball. Sophomore Tanner Allen then struck out, but was able to reach first on a wild pitch, which also scored Westburg. Foscue singled through the left side to put two runners on before Jordan was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Junior Dustin Skelton’s sacrifice fly scored Allen to make it 7-1. Back-to-back RBI singles from Halter and Mangum then made it 9-1.
A single and double from Rogers and Sullivan put two runners in scoring position for Georgia to begin the eighth inning. An MSU error scored Rogers from third before a bases-loaded walk scored Sullivan to end the game’s scoring with a final score of 9-3.
Freshman right-hander JT Ginn (8-2) allowed just one run on five hits in five innings of work. He sent down seven batters via strikeout and walked two batters.
Redshirt-junior left-hander Trysten Barlow then pitched a scoreless sixth inning where he allowed two base runners on a pair of walks. he also struck out one batter. Senior Jared Liebelt worked the seventh and eighth innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits. He struck out one batter and surrendered two walks. Junior Colby White closed the door with three strikeouts in a perfect ninth inning.
Junior Tony Locey (7-1) is charged with his first loss on the year after allowing five runs—all earned—on seven hits. He struck out and walked a trio of batters.
The Diamond Dawgs will look for the sweep Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. CT. The game will be televised by SEC Network+.