No. 5 Mississippi State’s offense showed up in a big way in route to a three-game sweep on the road at Auburn this weekend. Mississippi State used a 10-run top of the first on Sunday to cruise to a 19-10 victory to finish off the sweep. The Bulldogs improved to 24-7 (8-4 SEC) after the weekend, with Auburn dropping to a measly 12-16 (1-11 SEC) on the year.
Mississippi State has won seven straight contests, including the last six in Southeastern Conference play. The Bulldog bats seem to be turning a corner as MSU put up 32 runs in the three games.
Mississippi State received contributions up-and-down the lineup throughout the weekend, with Lane Forsythe collecting five hits in the 9-hole and Josh Hatcher blasting a home run in Saturday’s 7-2 win.
Kamren James and Tanner Allen homered in each of the first two games of the series, with James going 7-13 with five RBIs. Allen enjoyed a solid weekend as well, going 5-12 with a double, triple, and nine RBIs.
Mississippi State Baseball: Landon Sims secures Bulldogs sweep of Tigers.
Mississippi State led 5-2 late in Friday’s night opener before the Tigers tied things up with a 3-run bottom half of the seventh. State then caught a break when Tanner Leggett’s pop-up fell between Auburn’s first and second basemen, allowing him to reach second.
A Brayland Skinner groundout moved Leggett to third, and a wild pitch brought him home to give the Bulldogs a 6-5 lead in the eighth. Landon Sims preceded to retire the final six batters in order to preserve the one-run lead and put State into the win column.
Saturday was the Will Bednar show, as the Pennsylvania native gave Mississippi State one of its best outings from a starting pitcher all year. Bednar went 7.0 innings, giving up just one earned run on four hits while striking out seven.
The Bulldog offense was led by Kamren James, who drove in a run in the first with a single and then hit a two-run homer in the third to put State up 3-1.
The big blow came in the top of the fourth when Tanner Allen drove a pitch over the right-centerfield wall to drive in three and give the Bulldogs a comfortable 6-1 lead.
Hatcher lined a 2-0 pitch into the Bulldog bullpen in the sixth to extend the lead again, and Auburn could only manage a run in the eighth as Mississippi State cruised to a series-clinching win by a final of 7-2.
State left no doubt on Sunday, jumping out to an early 10-0 lead after the top of the first, headlined by a bases-clearing triple from Tanner Allen. Auburn cut into the lead with two runs in each the first and second innings, but State scored six unanswered to take a 16-4 lead into the bottom of the sixth.
Logan Tanner launched a three-run home run to left field to cap off Mississippi State’s scoring, with Auburn scoring five runs over the final two frames. It was too little, too late for the Tigers, as KC Hunt struck out Josh Hall to end it in the ninth and finish off a sweep.
It has to be refreshing for Mississippi State fans to see the number of runs scored by the Bulldogs over the weekend. The pitching staff has been the calling card for Chris Lemonis’ ball club all year. If the bats can continue to do what they did this weekend at Plainsman Park, watch out. This team can become even more dangerous heading into June.
With all that being said, Mississippi State now turns its attention to arguably the biggest series of the season. After the Bulldogs host Arkansas State Tuesday night, No. 3 Ole Miss comes to Starkville for a highly anticipated Super Bulldog Weekend showdown.
The stakes are always high when these two meet on the diamond, but they may be even higher this season, with both teams sitting at 8-4 in conference play and vying for a national seed. The first pitch is set for 6 PM CT on Friday, 2 PM CT on Saturday, and 1 PM CT on Sunday.