Mississippi State Explodes Late, Takes 11-2 Series Clinching Win From South Carolina

For six innings, South Carolina looked like it shaken off all the ill effects of last night’s 24-6 loss to Mississippi State, but in the bottom of the 7th the Bulldogs hit for four runs, then added five more in the 8th to claim an 11-2 win and take the series Friday night at Dudy Noble Field. State saw Josh Hatcher continue his solid play in relief of the injured Elijah MacNamee, homering twice including an absolute bomb to dead center field. Tanner Allen also remains scorching hot, now 9-10 on the weekend with 6 RBI on the weekend. With the win and Arkansas’s loss to Texas A&M, the Bulldogs are tied atop the SEC West and claim the division crown should those results repeat themselves tomorrow.

WAY WAY OUTTA HERE

I have covered Mississippi State baseball since 2014, and been to many games at Dudy Noble long before that, and I can’t remember ever seeing a ball hit further than that one by Josh Hatcher. The launch tracker said it traveled 411 feet, but that ball had to go at least 430 if not further, hitting high up on the batter’s eye in dead center. Hatcher has three home runs this weekend, and has stepped right in for his injured teammate Elijah MacNamee in right field. As has been said so many times this year about this MSU lineup, there just is not an easy out to be had, and Hatcher’s sudden spark just makes it all the more difficult for opposing pitching.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Mississippi State will go for its second straight sweep and fourth of the year tomorrow, with first pitch at noon at Dudy Noble. State will put Peyton Plumlee on the mound, South Carolina has not announced their starter as of yet.

WHAT’S ON THE LINE?

That win means Mississippi State could claim the outright SEC West championship and the #2 seed in next week’s SEC Tournament should the Bulldogs defeat the Gamecocks and Texas A&M takes the rubber game from Arkansas. State is already assured of a top four seed and a first day bye, they can clich no worse than the three seed with a win regardless of other action. State has only won the West once since the creation of divisions in 1992, and that was in 2016 when the Bulldogs claimed the outright conference title. There will definitely be some scoreboard watching in Starkville and College Station tomorrow.

Photo courtesy of Mississippi State athletics