No. 4 Mississippi State Baseball Finishes Series Sweep at Auburn
AUBURN, Ala. – A 10-run first inning set the tone for a series sweep securing 19-10 victory for the No. 4 Mississippi State baseball program at Auburn on Sunday (April 11) inside Plainsman Park. The Diamond Dawgs have now swept back-to-back SEC series for the first time since 2017 and moved the winning streak to seven straight.
The Dawgs now have seven winning weekends in eight tries during 2021 and have won 12 of the last 15 SEC series dating back to 2018. The sweep is the sixth during the 15-series SEC stretch and moved MSU’s winning streak to six straight games against Auburn to tie for the second-longest winning streak in the series with six-game stretches from 1947-65 and 1988-89.
Mississippi State (24-7, 8-4 SEC) pounded out eight hits and scored 10 times in the first inning with 14 batters coming to the plate. It was the highest scoring first inning for MSU since a 13-run opening frame against Lamar on February 20, 2011. Auburn (12-16, 1-11 SEC) cut the lead to six runs with two in the first and two in the second, but State was able to build the lead back to double digits and hold on for the nine-run victory.
Eight Diamond Dawgs collected hits in the game with Lane Forsythe, Luke Hancock, Kamren James and Logan Tanner each posting three-hit games. Tanner Allen had two hits and Rowdey Jordan was hit-by-pitch four times in the game to set the school record. In all, 10 batters reached base, nine scored at least one run and seven drove in RBIs – including a five-RBI game by Tanner and three RBIs apiece from Allen and James.
Houston Harding (3-1) picked up the win in relief with three innings of one-run work. Harding struck out four in relief of Jackson Fristoe, who struck out six in three innings and allowed four runs on five hits and four walks.
Six MSU pitchers combined to strike out 12 Auburn hitters and set the school record for consecutive games with 10-plus punchouts. The 11 straight games with at least 10 strikeouts bests the 10-game stretches from earlier in 2021 and from April 11-22, 2001.
Head coach Chris Lemonis
On the improvement the past two weekends
CL: We have some very talented players, some very experienced players, but more importantly, we have a tough group of players. Arkansas was a tough weekend, but the guys put it behind them and went to work. Each of the past six or eight games we have played, I feel like we are a little better in each one. We are starting to get going offensively. I thought Josh Hatcher had a good weekend and I was really fired up about Logan Tanner today with some of the swings he took. The more guys we get going the better our offense can be.
On the competitiveness in the SEC at the midway point
CL: It is such a crazy league. I don’t spend a lot of time looking at the standings. [My mindset] is just ‘let’s get the next one.’ We are a in the conversation for a national seed and [we would] be able to host at our place to give us a chance to go to Omaha. You have to win, you have to take care of business, and the guys have been taking care of business lately.
Tanner Allen singled through the left side and advanced to third on a single by Kamren James while Luke Hancock walked to load the bases. Logan Tanner then drove in the first two runs of the game with a single down the left field line moving Hancock to third base. Hancock came in to score on a throwing error by the pitcher on a pickoff attempt, setting up Brayland Skinner to drive in Tanner with a base hit. Josh Hatcher kept the line moving with an RBI single to left and advanced to third on an infield single by Lane Forsythe. Rowdey Jordan took a hit-by-pitch to load the bases and Allen cleared the bases with a triple to right-center. James followed with a walk and Hancock capped the scoring with a two-RBI single.
Mississippi State 10, Auburn 0
Ryan Bliss walked and Rankin Woley reached on an infield single with one out. Tyler Miller plated the first run for Auburn with a single to left-center. Brody Moore then grounded out to shortstop to score Woley.
Mississippi State 10, Auburn 2
Ryan Dyal walked, and two batters later, Ryan Bliss hit a two-run home run over the left field wall.
Mississippi State 10, Auburn 4
A Jordan hit-by-pitch and a walk to James set up an RBI single by Hancock. Tanner and Skinner walked back-to-back to push across James.
Mississippi State 12, Auburn 4
Hancock hit a single down the left field line and advanced to third on a double by Tanner. Hancock scored on a wild pitch and Tanner came across on a single through the right-side by Scotty Dubrule.
Mississippi State 14, Auburn 4
Forsythe led off the inning with a single up the middle and Jordan was hit-by-pitch for Allen to ground into a fielder’s choice in which Jordan was out at second base. Forsythe scored and Allen moved up to second base on a wild pitch and later scored on a James single up the middle.
Mississippi State 16, Auburn 4
With two outs, Kason Howell hit a solo home run over to left.
Mississippi State 16, Auburn 5
James started off the inning with a single to right field and Kellum Clark followed with a hit-by-pitch. Tanner then hit his a three-run home run.
Mississippi State 19, Auburn 5
Bryson Ware worked a walk to start the inning, advanced third on a pair of wild pitches. Nate LaRue walked, and Josh Hall lifted a sacrifice fly to center field and scored Ware. Then, Cole Foster doubled off of the left field wall setting up a two RBI single for Brayton Brown.
Mississippi State 19, Auburn 8
Moore walked with one out and Ware hit a two-run home run.
Mississippi State 19, Auburn 10
The ninth week of the 2021 season will start with a midweek contest against Arkansas State at Dudy Noble Field on Tuesday, April 13 at 6:30 p.m. The fifth weekend of SEC play will bring a top five Ole Miss team to The Dude for Super Bulldog Weekend. The series will start at 6 p.m. and air live on the SEC Network on Friday, April 16.
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