Winners are winners, so they say, so you knew that when Jake Mangum was at the plate in the seventh inning with Mississippi State trailing UAB 2-1, runners at second and third with two outs, that the Bulldog All-American was going to deliver. Deliver he did, with a two RBI single putting the Bulldogs into the lead where they would stay in a 3-2 win over a tough Blazers squad. On a day where the Diamond Dawgs only had three hits total, it was Mangum who once again delivered the blow that lead to a maroon and white victory.
MANGUM DOES MANGUM THINGS
A single to right, and the Diamond Dawgs have taken the lead!#HailState🐶 | State 3, UAB 2 pic.twitter.com/DCG0rrIniC
— Mississippi State Baseball ⚾️ (@HailStateBB) February 21, 2019
Jake Mangum with a game winning RBI is among the least surprising things you can imagine. When Mangum arrived at the plate in that situation, the entire press box was in agreement, he was going to get a hit and the Bulldogs were going to take the lead. It might not have been on the same level as some of his heroics in last season’s run to Omaha, but the bottom line is if Mangum can be at the plate at the right time, he will do what needs to be done nearly every time.
A FAMILIAR FACE RETURNS
.@Doug4212's final line: 5⃣.2⃣ IP, 0⃣ H, 0⃣ R, 2⃣ BB, 7⃣ Ks.
We're happy he's on our side.#WinAsOne | #Uncommon pic.twitter.com/HLx0X6EBxw
— UAB Baseball (@UAB_Baseball) February 20, 2019
It wasn’t that long ago that you could have predicted Graham Ashcraft would make the first start at the new Dudy Noble Field, as he passed on a chance at Major League Baseball to come to Starkville. Ashcraft’s time at Mississippi State was plagued by injuries, but healthy now, he didn’t allow a Bulldog hit in 5.2 innings pitched Tuesday. Ashcraft consistently ran his fastball to the 93-95 miles per hour range, and featured an nearly untouchable cutter. He might not have gotten the win, but he can’t be disappointed by his return to this stadium.
The Golden Eagles fly together.
We'll see you all in Starkville this weekend 😈#SMTTT pic.twitter.com/FUTHNTve5i
— Southern Miss Baseball (@SouthernMissBSB) February 20, 2019
It will be one of the best series across the country as Southern Mississippi travels to Starkville for three games this weekend, weather permitting. USM swept the Bulldogs in Hattiesburg a season ago, sparking the chain of events that led to the dismissal of Andy Cannizaro. This series will definitely have the feel of an SEC weekend, or perhaps even postseason play. I expect a lot of drama, and if the weather could clear up, some big crowds.
Plenty to talk about on the Thunder & Lightning Podcast and SportsTalk Mississippi, we’ll have you covered.
Photo courtesy of Mississippi State athletics