Sims strikes out ten as MSU opens season with win

Sims strikes out ten as MSU opens season with win
SOURCE: MSU Athletics (Source: MSU Athletics)

ARLINGTON, Tx. - Baseball blue bloods matched up in the opening game of the 2021 State Farm College Baseball Showdown, as the No. 8 Mississippi State baseball program toppled No. 12 Texas, 8-3, behind a dominate performance on the mound and timely hitting inside Globe Life Field. 

The victory pushes Mississippi State to 1-0 on the season and continues a recent trend of success against top 25 teams in the regular season. The Dawgs are 12-1 against top 25 opponents in the last 13 regular season matchups, which includes a 6-0 mark against top 10 teams.

The victory over the Longhorns is State’s seventh straight top 25 win in the regular season. 

The pitching staff set the tone for MSU, as starting pitcher Christian MacLeod (ND) logged 4.0 innings and allowed one run on four hits. The left-hander stuck out seven and didn’t walk a batter. The home run was the only blemish on his outing, as he handed off to Landon Sims (1-1) with the bases loaded in the fifth inning and no outs. 

Sims came on and struck out the side to limit the damage and went on to retire all 12 batters he faced in four innings. Ten of his 12 outs came via strikeout, with a ground ball in the sixth and a flyout in the eighth his other two outs. 

Adding Riley Self’s one strikeout in the ninth and Mississippi State tied for its most strikeouts in a single game since Feb. 19, 2012 against Washington State (19). State last struck out 18 batters in a game on February 26, 2020 against Alcorn State.

At the plate, Luke Hancock opened the season with a 3-for-4 showing at the plate. The Houston, Mississippi, native hit his first career home run in the fourth inning, drove in one RBI in the fifth inning and singled again in the seventh. He scored twice, plated two RBIs and walked once. 

Hancock led eight Bulldogs with hits and three with multiple hits. Rowdey Jordan plated one RBI in the sixth inning before he homered in the eighth. Josh Hatcher extended his hitting streak to eight games with an RBI double in the eighth inning. Landon Jordan reached base three times, drove in a run and scored once.

 For Texas, Ty Madden (0-1) took the loss with four runs – three earned – allowed in four innings of work. He struck out five, walked three and four hits allowed. At the plate, Ivan Melendez homered and doubled to drive in two runs.

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