COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The No. 6 Mississippi State baseball team came out on top of a pitcher’s duel with a 4-0 win over No. 14 Texas A&M Friday evening in the first game of the three-game series on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
MSU (37-9, 14-8 SEC) scored two runs in both the fourth and eighth frames. Starting pitcher Ethan Small (6-1) tossed seven scoreless innings where he allowed no hits and struck out eight batters. He allowed just two base runners via hit batter and walk.
Texas A&M (31-16-1, 11-10-1 SEC) was limited to just one hit in the contest.
Offensively, sophomore Justin Foscue was responsible for two of State’s runs with two RBIs on 2-for-4 hitting. Senior Jake Mangum came around to score one run on 2-for-5 hitting, while sophomore Rowdey Jordan and junior Dustin Skelton each chipped in with an RBI apiece.
The fourth inning began with Elijah MacNamee reaching first after being hit by a pitch. Foscue then followed up with a double down the left field line to put runners on second and third. Jordan’s sacrifice fly scored MacNmaee before Foscue came home on an RBI double down the third base line from Skelton to give the Diamond Dawgs a 2-0 lead.
MSU loaded the bases in the eighth inning after Mangum singled to center field, sophomore Jordan Westburg reached on a fielding error and MacNamee was intentionally walked with one out. Foscue then came through with a two-RBI single through the left side to make it a 4-0 ballgame, which ended up being the final score.
Senior right-hander Jared Liebelt threw the final two innings where he allowed no runs on just one hit.
Junior southpaw John Doxakis (5-3) was charged with the Aggie loss after allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits in 7 1⁄3 innings of work. He fanned four batters and walked two.
State and the Aggies will now play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. CT on SEC Network. The second game of the day will start 45 minutes following game one and air on SEC Network+. Both games will be seven innings.