Mississippi State Shrugs Off Early Trouble to Defeat South Alabama 7-5

Mississippi State once again found its midweek starter in early trouble, but the Bulldogs were able to shake off those first inning woes and capture a 7-5 win over South Alabama. Bulldog pitcher Jack Eagan wasn’t able to get through his debut as a starter without getting touched in the first frame, but a 1-0 Jaguar lead had turned into a 4-1 Bulldog advantage by the third. State would finish off USA with a three run bomb from Tanner Allen to deep center, with Cole Gordon going two innings for his eighth save of the season.

COMING AROUND

Tanner Allen saw his batting average jump nearly 20 points on Wednesday night, and he finally seems to be breaking out of a slump that has bogged him down since his spectacular opening weekend. This makes back to back games with a home run for the sophomore first baseman, and he finished the night 3-4 with 5 RBI. As he and Rowdey Jordan are slowly but surely returning to their freshman form, it makes a Bulldog offense that already has six of its nine regulars above .300 even more potent.

MIDWEEK MOUND WOES CONTINUE

It just seems like Mississippi State cannot get through a midweek first inning without some drama. Last week’s start by Peyton Plumlee aside, Bulldog midweek starters have been putting the team in an early hole for most of the past month. Tonight, Jack Eagan was able to limit the damage to one run, but he only went 2.2 IP before having to give way to Brandon Smith, who picked up the win. State had to use four pitchers tonight, and pushed Cole Gordon an extra inning, as Coach Lemonis revealed postgame that Jared Liebelt and Trysten Barlow were given the night off after a lot of work this past weekend at Tennessee.

SPEAKING OF PITCHERS

Coach Lemonis was asked about true freshman hurler JT Ginn, who was bumped back a day then pulled after only one inning at Tennessee. Lemonis said Ginn’s status was not “100% positive” but felt the issues that held him back last weekend were “not a major thing.” Should Ginn be unable to go, look for some combination of Plumlee and Keegan James to take the hill for the Bulldogs against Alabama on Super Bulldog weekend.

Photo courtesy of Mississippi State athletics