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No. 13 MSU baseball nearly completes sweep at South Carolina


From Special Reports



COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A strong pitching performance by junior right-hander Jacob Billingsley wasn't enough Sunday as the No. 13 Mississippi State baseball team dropped a 6-1 decision to No. 17 South Carolina in the finale of a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Founders Park. 


MSU fell to 25-13 and 10-5 in league play, while South Carolina improved to 22-13 and 8-7. The Bulldogs saw a five-game winning streak snapped. 


Thanks to a 7-4 win Friday and 5-4 win Saturday, MSU claimed its first conference series win at South Carolina since 1998. The Bulldogs have won four straight conference series and 13 of their last 15. 


In his first conference start, Billingsley matched a season high with five innings pitched. Billingsley allowed three hits and no runs. He struck out six. Peyton Plumlee threw the sixth inning and recorded two outs in the seventh. Trysten Barlow (0-2), Trey Jolly, Riley Self, and Denver McQuary followed to the mound. 


MSU scored first in the sixth. Jake Mangum began the inning with a double. Brent Rooker drew an intentional walk. Ryan Gridley followed with an RBI double. A double play ball ended the inning. 


South Carolina tied the game in the sixth on Carlos Cortes' third home run of the series. 


The Gamecocks put the game away with a five-run eighth. Jacob Olson singled and Cortes walked. After a sacrifice bunt, an intentional walk loaded the bases. Self was then touched for a sacrifice fly by Jonah Bride, a two-run single by L.T. Tolbert, an RBI double by Matt Williams, and an RBI single by Madison Stokes. 


Gridley had two of MSU's six hits. 


South Carolina had nine hits, including three by Stokes and two by Tolbert. 


Starter Adam Hill threw six innings for the Gamecocks. Josh Reagan (4-1) picked up the win in relief. 


MSU will close its four-game road trip at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. 


n Guidry, Smith help No. 21 Southern Mississippi beat Rice: At Houston, No. 21 Southern Miss overcame an early deficit with a grand slam by Matthew Guidry and received a solid relief effort from Colt Smith to defeat Rice 17-6 Sunday afternoon at Reckling Park. 


The win helped Southern Miss (28-9, 12-3 Conference USA) capture the C-USA series. The Golden Eagles had a season-high tying 18 hits to earn its second series win at Rice, and first since 2008. 


Guidry, Dylan Burdeaux, and Mason Irby led the offensive attack with three hits as the visitors belted a total of four home runs. 


Burdeaux led off the game with a single and scored one batter later when Irby doubled to right-center. 


That 1-0 lead did not last long as Rice rallied with two hits and two walks off of starter J.C. Keys. Keys didn't register an out and Smith came in to get out of the jam but not before the Owls (13-25, 4-11) scored four times to take the lead. 


The Golden Eagles, who scored in eight different frames, then cut into the advantage with a bases-loaded walk by Irby to make it 4-2. 


Southern Miss took the lead for good in the third. With one out, Matt Wallner doubled to right, before Jake Viaene -- in his first career start -- walked and Cole Donaldson was hit by a pitch. Guidry then laced a grand slam to right field off the scoreboard to give the Golden Eagles a 6-4 advantage. Guidry's second homer of the year came off of closer Glenn Otto, who was making his second start of the season, and also ended his day. 


Otto (3-3) allowed six runs (five earned) on five hits and four walks. He struck out four in 2 1/3 innings. 


Smith (2-0) limited Rice to one run and six hits in 4 2/3 innings on six his. He walked two and struck out two. 


Southern Miss will take on Nicholls State at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday in the first of two regular-season trips to MGM Park in Biloxi.



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