STARKVILLE. Miss. — No. 9 Mississippi State baseball completed the three-game Southeastern Conference sweep over No. 4 Georgia with a 6-5 win Sunday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.
With the win MSU improves to 36-9 (13-8 SEC), while Georgia falls to 33-12 (13-8 SEC).
State took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning after sophomore Justin Foscue reached on a fielder’s choice, advanced to third on a single from sophomore Rowdey Jordan and scored on a sacrifice fly from junior Dustin Skelton.
The Dawgs added two more runs in the fifth inning to take a 3-0 lead. Senior Jake Mangum drew a one-out walk before stealing second base. Sophomore Jordan Westburg then singled to put runners on the corners. Sophomore Tanner Allen followed up with a clutch two-RBI double down the right field line.
Senior Marshall Gilbert was hit by a pitch to begin the bottom of the seventh inning, which was followed by a single from Mangum. Gilbert was out after being picked off at second, but Mangum then advanced to second and third on a pair of wild pitches. Allen’s sacrifice fly to center field brought Mangum home to give MSU a 4-0 lead.
Junior Tucker Maxwell began the top of the eighth inning with a double up the middle to put a runner in scoring position for Georgia. Junior Cam Shepherd’s single up the middle scored Maxwell and cut the MSU lead to 4-1. State got two runs back in its half of the eighth to take a 6-1 lead. Foscue led off with a doubled to left field. Jordan then drew a walk to put two runners on before Skelton singled to left field to bring home Foscue. Freshman Luke Hancock drew a bases loaded walk before a fielder’s choice plated Jordan.
Georgia clawed its way back in the ninth to draw within a single run. Sophomore Austin Biggar hit a leadoff home run to left field to make it 6-2. Redshirt-freshman Connor Tate and Maxwell then singled and walked to put two base runners on. After a strikeout, senior LJ Talley blasted a three-run homer down the left field line to make it 6-5. A flyout and strikeout ended the Georgia threat, as MSU held on for the 6-5 SEC series sweep.
MSU outhit Georgia 8-6, with Jordan leading the team with two hits. Mangum, Westburg, Allen, Foscue, Skelton and Hancock each recorded a hit in the contest. Allen and Skelton also chipped in with three RBIs and two RBIs, respectively.
Senior right-hander Peyton Plumlee (3-3) was superb in 6 1⁄3 innings of work. He allowed no runs on one hit and struck out five batters. He surrendered two walks in the game.
Redshirt-junior Trysten Barlow then pitched in relief and failed to get an out while walking two batters. Senior Jared Liebelt then tossed 1 1⁄3 innings and allowed one run on two hits and fanned one batter. Graduate student Cole Gordon got the final out of the eighth inning with a strikeout. Junior Colby White surrendered four runs on three hits in the ninth inning, but managed to end the Georgia threat with one of his two strikeouts. He also walked a batter.
Junior Tim Elliott (5-3) was charged with the Georgia loss after allowing one run on two hits in 2 2⁄3 innings. He struck out three batters and walked two.
MSU will now travel to College Station, Texas to take on No. 6 Texas A&M Aggies on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park in a three-game SEC series beginning Thursday at 6 p.m. CT. Friday’s contest is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CT with the series finale beginning Saturday at 2 p.m. CT.