AUBURN-- Behind his second complete game of the year, Mississippi State junior right-hander Dakota Hudson sparkled again Friday night in the Southeastern Conference, throwing a six-hit shutout as the fourth-ranked Bulldogs beat Auburn 4-0 at Plainsman Park.
MSU won its fifth-straight conference game, while improving to 35-14-1 overall and 16-9 in league play. Auburn fell to 22-27 and 8-17. With the win, the Bulldogs maintained sole possession of second place in the Western Division standings. For MSU, it was the first conference shutout since a 1-0 win over Alabama on May 16, 2014.
The Bulldogs won the opening game of a conference series for the seventh time this season.
"Dakota was outstanding," MSU head coach John Cohen said. "He got a ton of ground balls. We got some double plays. There were not a lot of balls that got to the outfield. The double play ball in the fifth inning was really huge."
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The Bulldogs gave Hudson all of the offensive support he would need by scoring three times in the third inning. Jack Kruger started things with his sixth home run of the year with two outs. Nathaniel Lowe then reached on an error and Gavin Collins extended his hit streak to a career-high 12 games with a base hit.
Brent Rooker followed with a ground-rule RBI-double. Reid Humphreys capped the scoring in that inning with an RBI-single.
In the sixth inning, the Bulldogs had four hits but only scored one run. Humphreys, Jacob Robson and Ryan Gridley each had singles, before John Holland had an RBI-single.
The Bulldogs finished with 11 hits, stranded nine base runners and play errorless ball in the field.
Rooker, Humphreys, Robson and Gridley each had multiple hits, as the bottom five spots in the lineup had nine of the team's 11 hits.
Hudson (8-3) threw his second complete game and the staff's fourth complete game.
The shutout was the seventh for Bulldogs pitching this season. Hudson threw 116 pitches, while allowing six hits, with six strikeouts, one walk and one hit batsman.