Behind Hancock, MSU takes series over Kentucky
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Luke Hancock drove in the game-tying and go-ahead runs and Landon Sims turned a game-ending double play to help the No. 5 Mississippi State baseball program to a 3-2 victory over No. 21 Kentucky on Friday (April 2) evening at Dudy Noble Field.
A two-run home run in the fourth inning for Kentucky (18-6, 5-3 SEC) opened the scoring, before Mississippi State (19-7, 4-4 SEC) pushed two across in the sixth and one in the eight to claw back for the victory. MSU won its fifth series of the season and has six winning weekends under its belt in 2021.
Starting pitcher Will Bednar struck out a career-high-tying 10 batters and surrendered just a fourth inning, two-run home run to TJ Collett. He allowed three hits and walked two - one intentional - in the no decision.
Cam Tullar fired a scoreless seventh to keep the game tied at 2-2. Sims (2-0) picked up the win with two scoreless innings to close out the contest. The right-hander struck out two in the eighth, then fielded a sacrifice bunt for the first out before he started the double play that wrapped up the victory in the ninth.
Offensively, State saw only three base runners through the first five innings, but the sixth inning saw the firsts three Diamond Dawgs reach. An acrobatic slide by Brayland Skinner scored the first run of the game on a Tanner Allen single. Luke Hancock then provided the game-tying run with a one-out sacrifice fly in the inning and followed with the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Rowdy Jordan moved his reached base streak to 11 games with a 3-for-4 night at the plate, while Allen was on base three times with the RBI base hit in the sixth and a pair of hit-by-pitch. Kentucky’s Cole Strupp (3-1) cruised through the first five innings, before running into trouble over the next three. He allowed three runs over seven official innings on six hits in the loss. Collett had a pair of hits and the two UK RBIs, while John Rhodes chipped in two hits in the game.
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