While Friday’s series opener against Auburn was a back-and-forth affair, No. 4 Mississippi State’s 7-2 road victory Saturday at Plainsman Park was much more decisive.
In a balanced effort, the bats collected 11 hits, the most in an SEC game this season, and starter Will Bednar contributed seven strikeouts in seven innings of work. Not only was it Bednar’s longest outing of the year, it was the first time all season a Bulldog pitcher lasted at least seven innings. Tanner Allen and Kamren James each hit home runs for the second night in a row and drove in three runs apiece. Allen reached base four times while James had two hits. Rowdey Jordan extended his hitting streak to nine games with a 2-for-5 day with a stolen base. It was the 15th straight game Jordan has reached base. The SEC series win was the 12th for MSU (23-7, 7-4) in its last 15 attempts.
Perhaps the most encouraging sign was Josh Hatcher’s two-hit performance that included a home run. Hater had been scuffling before Tuesday’s midweek contest against Southern, being mired in an 0-for-13 slump with his batting average sitting at .200.
“I’ve seen it so much before. There’s so much of a ball player with him and we need to get it going,” MSU coach Chris Lemonis said. “Hatch gets going and Logan Tanner get going and we’re where we need to be.”
MSU will go for the sweep at 2 p.m. Sunday.