KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The No. 8 Mississippi State baseball team claimed the Southeastern Conference series win Sunday afternoon with a 7-5 win over Tennessee at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
The Diamond Dawgs (27-6, 7-5 SEC) scored a run in the third inning, two runs in the fourth, one in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the eighth. The Volunteers (23-10, 4-8 SEC) scored two runs in the first inning, one in the third and two in the sixth,
Tennessee took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. Junior Justin Ammons hit a leadoff single to left center. After a strikeout, junior Luc Lipcius hit an RBI double to right field. He then scored after a single and ground out.
A leadoff home run from sophomore Rowdey Jordan in the third inning made it 2-1. The Volunteers then increased their lead by one in the bottom half of the third. Back-to-back hit batters put two runners on before a single from sophomore Alerick Soularie plated a run.
The fourth inning saw State score two runs to knot things up at 3-3. Sophomore Jordan Westburg hit a leadoff single before coming around to score after back-to-back singles from sophomore Tanner Allen and senior Elijah MacNamee. Junior Dustin Skelton was then hit by a pitch. Jordan then singled to load the bases. Senior Marshall Gilbert followed up with an RBI after drawing a bases-loaded walk.
Allen hit a home run to right field to give MSU a 4-3 lead.
Two hit batters put two runners on base for State in the sixth inning. A two-out double from senior Jake Mangum scored two runs and gave the Diamond Dawgs a 6-3 lead. A two-run home run from Tennessee’s Zach Daniels made it 6-5 after six innings.
MSU added an insurance run in the eighth inning after Jordan doubled and came around to score after a ground out and sacrifice fly. A ground out and a pair of strikeouts sealed the series win for the Dawgs.
MSU out-hit the Volunteers 13-9. Allen and Jordan finished with three hits apiece, while Westburg, MacNamee and sophomore Justin Foscue all collected two hits.
Freshman JT Ginn got the start on the mound and pitched just one inning. He allowed two runs on three hits and struck out two batters.
Redshirt-junior Keegan James (3-1) earned the win after pitching three innings of relief. He allowed one run on one hit and struck out one batter. He hit two batters. Southpaw Trysten Barlow then allowed two runs on three hits in two innings of work. Senior Jared Liebelt pitched the final three innings and earned his third save of the season.
Junior Will Heflin (3-1) was charged wit the Tennessee loss after allowing a run in one inning of work.
MSU will be back in action Wednesday when the Dawgs host South Alabama at Dudy Noble Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT. The game will be televised by SEC Network.