BATON ROUGE, La. – Mississippi State used a six-run eighth inning on the strength of two homers and an RBI single to propel the Bulldogs to a 9-4 victory over second-ranked LSU Saturday night inside Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
The Bulldogs improved to 25-24 on the season and 7-19 in conference play, while LSU dropped to 39-11 on the year and 17-8 in SEC action.
The series finale of the LSU-Mississippi State three-game set is scheduled for a 1 p.m. CT first Sunday at “The Box.” The contest will be streamed on
SEC Network +, and it can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network.
Mississippi State reliever KC Hunt (2-2) earned the win after tossing 2.0 scoreless innings and allowing two hits with two strikeouts. LSU right-hander Thatcher Hurd (3-2) was charged with the loss after allowing five runs on three hits in the eighth inning with one walk and one strikeout.
“We had a chance to bust the game open early tonight, but we didn’t do that,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “We still had a two-run lead in the eighth, at home, and you feel good about it, but we just didn’t execute. Mississippi State got some good swings, and it’s a credit to them.”
To open the scoring on the night, LSU shortstop Jordan Thompson drew a bases-loaded walk to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. LSU got into this position following a double from third baseman Tommy White and two straight walks by designated hitter Cade Beloso and right fielder Brayden Jobert.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, LSU catcher Hayden Travinkski launched his fifth homer of the season – a solo shot – to make the score 2-0.
The Bulldogs scratched their first run across in the top of the fifth with an RBI double off the left-field wall from shortstop David Mershon. Mississippi State knotted the ballgame at 2-2 in the seventh after catcher Luke Hancock hit a homer to right field.
White, who had a stellar performance at the plate, went 4-for-5 and drove in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning. With the bases loaded after three straight free passes, White delivered the big hit of the frame to make the score 3-2. Beloso grounded into a double play with no outs, but was able to score Morgan from third to increase the LSU lead to 4-2.
Mississippi State erupted for a six-run eighth inning, highlighted by a two-run homer by rightfielder Kellum Clark and a three-run dinger by centerfielder Cole Ledbetter.
LSU starting pitcher Ty Floyd turned in an excellent effort, limiting Mississippi State to one run on five hit in 6.0 innings with one walk and a career-high 10 strikeouts.
“Ty was great tonight,” Johnson said. “What he demonstrated tonight will be a big boost to our team moving forward.”