STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics) – The Mississippi State baseball program put runners on base in each inning, scoring in five of those frames on its way to an 8-4 victory over Alcorn State on Wednesday (Feb. 26) to close out its season-opening homestand at Dudy Noble Field.
The Bulldogs (6-2) out-hit the Braves (2-3), 12-6, worked seven walks and was hit-by-pitch twice. Four Diamond Dawgs reached base multiple times in the game and eight of the nine starters collected hits. State scored one run in the first and second innings, tallied two in the third, one in the fourth and plated six runs in the seventh inning. Alcorn State got a single run in the second and scored three times in the fifth.
The pitching staff struck out 18 Alcorn State batters and limited the Braves to just six hits. Junior Houston Harding made his first career start and threw four innings, allowing four runs – three earned on four hits with seven strikeouts. Junior Chase Patrick (2-0) picked up the win with two scoreless frames of relief and five strikeouts. The trio of juniors Jared Shemper and Jaxen Forrester, and senior Riley Self all worked scoreless innings and combined for six more punchouts.
At the plate, junior Jordan Westburg shined at the plate with two hits, four runs scored and two RBIs. He also reached via walk once and was hit-by-pitch for the 20th time in his career. His second hit of the game was a 410-foot home run to right-center field.
Junior Tanner Allen and Justin Foscue each went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a walk, while freshman Logan Tanner chipped in a pair of hits. Junior Brad Cumbest hit his first home run of the season in a start in left field.
Head Coach Chris Lemonis
On the offense getting back in rhythm
“The game was fighting us a little bit. We had some guys pressing in certain parts of our lineup, but it was nice to see the middle of our order taking care of business today. They had some big hits. We have really good players, but sometimes this game will play you a little tough. We had to fight through it. I think we learned a lot about our team in a 24-hour period because we left here last night very disappointed. It was good to see them fight back.”
Jordan Westburg walked to move his reached base streak to 28 straight games and moved to third with one out. Justin Foscue then reached on a fielder’s choice to score the first run of the game.
Mississippi State 1, Alcorn State 0
Hunter Wilson hit his first home run of the season with one out in the inning to knot the score.
Mississippi State 1, Alcorn State 1
Brad Cumbest led off the inning with his first home run of the season and second of his career.
Mississippi State 2, Alcorn State 1
Westburg, Tanner Allen and Foscue all reached base to start the inning, before Luke Hancock delivered the two-RBI single.
Mississippi State 4, Alcorn State 1
A hit-by-pitch to Westburg with two outs led to the fifth run of the game for MSU. After the HBP, Allen doubled to center field to score the runner from first.
Mississippi State 5, Alcorn State 1
The first four hitters reached base against MSU starting pitcher Houston Harding, with Tristin Garcia delivering a two-RBI single. Chase Patrick entered and struck out the next three batters, however, an errant pickoff attempt allowed the third run of the inning to score.
Mississippi State 5, Alcorn State 4
Logan Tanner started the inning by reaching on an error, before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt and third on a wild pitch. Rowdey Jordan delivered an RBI single, before Westburg hit a towering 410-foot two-run home run to right-center field to cap the scoring.
Mississippi State 8, Alcorn State 4
The first road trip of the season will take Mississippi State to the west coast to face Long Beach State in a three-game set February 28-March 1. The series opener will get underway at 8 p.m. CT, before a 5 p.m. CT first pitch on Saturday and a 1 p.m. CT start on Sunday.