MSU sweeps Alabama, clinches 3-seed in SEC Tournament
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - All nine starters collected a hit for Mississippi State in a 7-3 victory at Alabama on Saturday (May 22) afternoon to wrap up the regular season at Sewell-Thomas Stadium with a series sweep.
The victory locked up a bye into the double-elimination portion of the SEC Tournament, which begins Tuesday (May 24) in Hoover, Alabama. Mississippi State will be the No. 3 seed and play in the first game on day two of the event at the Hoover Met on Wednesday, May 25. First pitch with the winner of Florida/Kentucky is slated for 9:30 a.m.
It was the 20th win in Southeastern Conference play for Mississippi State in 2021, to mark the first time in program history that MSU has posted back-to-back 20-win SEC seasons. It is just the fourth time in program history that Mississippi State has reached the 20-win mark in conference play, with a school-record 21 victories in 2016 and 20 wins on three occasions (1989,2019, 2021). The 40 overall wins are the 23rd time in program history MSU has won at least 40 games.
Also, State swept its fourth SEC series of the season to mark the second-most series sweeps in a single season in program history. The 1989 team swept five series and nine Diamond Dawg teams have swept three series.
Alabama (29-22, 12-17 SEC) opened the scoring with two in the first inning and one in the second inning, before Mississippi State (40-13, 20-10 SEC) piled up four runs in the fifth and three in the sixth to take control of the contest.
The Crimson Tide scored three runs on two hits and benefited from three walks against MSU starting pitcher Jackson Fristoe. In the third inning, Houston Harding entered and allowed a leadoff single, but retired 15 batters in a row from the third to the eighth inning to allow State to rally.
Harding threw 5 2/3 innings scoreless and allowed just two hits with two walks. He got 10 ground ball outs - including one double play - and six fly ball outs. Preston Johnson retired the only batter he faced to strand two runners in the eighth inning. Landon Sims worked a scoreless ninth inning to close out the win.
At the plate, three Diamond Dawgs posted multi-hit games and Rowdey Jordan drove in a pair of runs for his ninth multi-RBI game of the season. Jordan moved his reached base streak to 38 games and his hitting streak to 12 games with a single, hit-by-pitch and a run scored to go with his two RBIs. Tanner Allen posted his 25th multi-hit game of the season with 16 of those coming in SEC play. Luke Hancock and Scotty Dubrule each chipped in two hits and Tanner Leggett and Lane Forsythe both scored two runs.
For Alabama, Landon Green (3-1) was the tough-luck loser with one unearned run allowed in. one-third of an inning of work. Zane Denton drove in two RBIs and William Hamiter chipped in a pair of hits and scored one run.
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