Before Auburn even took its first at-bat, No. 1 Mississippi State was well on its way to a sweep of Auburn Sunday afternoon.
The opening frame of Sunday’s finale lasted nearly 40 minutes after the Bulldogs pulverized Auburn (12-16, 1-11 SEC) starter Joseph Gonzalez and plated 10 runs en route to a dominating 19-10 win Sunday to complete the road series sweep. The 10-run explosion was the Bulldogs’ highest-scoring innings in 10 years since they scored 13 runs in an early season victory against Lamar in 2011. With the victory, MSU has swept back-to-back SEC opponents for the first time since 2017 and has won seven straight contests.
“We have some very talented players, some very experienced players, but more importantly, we have a tough group of players,” MSU coach Chris Lemonis said in a news release. “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.”
The 19 runs scored were mostly manufactured, with only three coming via the home run. Mississippi State collected 17 hits in the contest, its most against an SEC opponent this season, and drew nine walks while only striking out four times. Eight Bulldog hitters had at least one hit in the contest. The long ball came off the bat off Logan Tanner, who finished the day 3-for-5 with five RBIs and three runs scored and a walk. Kamren James punished the Tigers all series, hitting a home run in both Friday and Saturday’s contest and finished Sunday’s finale 3-for-4 with four runs scored, two walks and an RBI. Allen also homered in both of the first two games and had a strong finale, collecting two hits, driving in three and scoring three times. Luke Hancock (3-for-3, three RBIs, two walks) and Logan Forsythe (3-for-5 with an RBI) were the other MSU hitters with multi-hit performances.
Rowdey Jordan had one of the more unorthodox days at the plate, having his nine-game hitting streak snapped by going 0-for-3, but was hit by a pitch on four separate occasions. While he may be due for an ice bath, the hit by pitches extended his on-base streak to 16 games.
Houston Harding earned his third win of the season after tossing three innings in relief and allowing one run and striking out four. After being spotted a 10-run lead before he threw a pitch, MSU starter Jackson Fristoe lasted three innings, allowing four runs on five hits and four walks while striking out six batters. As a pitching staff, MSU struck out 12 hitters, which makes Sunday the 11th straight game the Bulldogs have struck out at least 10 hitters, a new school record.
MSU (24-7, 8-4) is back in action in a midweek contest against Arkansas State at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Dudy Noble Field before an anticipated Super Bulldog weekend matchup against Ole Miss.
“It is such a crazy league,” Lemonis said. “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.”