Bats come alive as MSU clinches series

Bats come alive as MSU clinches series
SOURCE: MSU Athletics (Source: MSU Athletics)

AUBURN, Ala. - The pitching staff was steady, and the offense arrived with one of its best performances of the season as the Mississippi State baseball program grabbed the middle game of the series at Auburn on Saturday to claim its third SEC series of the season with the finale on the horizon at Plainsman Park.  

Mississippi State (23-7, 7-4 SEC) pounded out 11 hits - its most in an SEC game this season - and the pitching staff fanned 10 Auburn (12-15, 1-10 SEC) hitters on its way to a 12th SEC series win in its last 15 tries dating back to 2018. 

In MSU’s longest start of the season, second-year freshman Will Bednar (2-0) struck out seven batters in seven innings of work. He allowed one run on four hits and retired 12 straight batters between the third and seventh innings. He allowed multiple base runners only once in the game to earn his second victory of the season. 

Four MSU relivers combined to throw the final two innings, as Stone Simmons, Cam Tullar and Chase Patrick each recorded one out in the eighth, before Parker Stinnett retired the final three batters of the game in the ninth. In all, the MSU staff allowed two runs on seven hits, struck out 10 and didn’t walk a batter in the game. The 10 strikeouts mark the 10th straight game with double-digit punchouts and the first game without issuing a walk since May 4, 2019 at Texas A&M. In the end, the pitching staff didn’t walk a batter, hit a batter or throw a wild pitch in the game, and the defense played an errorless game and turned one double play. 

Junior Tanner Allen and second-year freshman Kamren James each drove in three RBIs, with each hitting home runs in their second straight games. Allen was on base four times, including his fifth home run of the season, and scored twice to move his reached base streak to 13 games. James had two hits and homered for the second straight night. 

Junior Rowdey Jordan moved his reached base streak to a career-long-tying 15 games and in the process pushed his hitting nine games with a 2-for-5 day at the plate. He doubled, singled, stole one base and crossed home plate twice. Lane Forsythe, Josh Hatcher and Luke Hancock each posted two-hit games, with Hatcher blasting MSU’s third home run of the day in the sixth inning. 

Ryan Bliss led the Auburn offense with a pair of hits, including an eighth-inning RBI single, while Cam Hill hit his fourth home run of the season in the second inning to account for the other Tiger run. Jack Owen (0-2) took the loss on the mound with 3 2/3 innings of work and six runs allowed. Owen fanned two, walked one and hit one batter.

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