Mississippi State

Mississippi State holds off Ole Miss; Southern Miss downs Charlotte

MSU baseball coach John Cohen.
MSU baseball coach John Cohen.

STARKVILLE-- Mississippi State sparkled on the baseball diamond again Friday night.

Behind a four-hit gem from junior right-hander Dakota Hudson, No. 5 MSU opened its weekend SEC series with a hard-earned 3-1 win versus in-state rival and 11th-ranked Ole Miss before a crowd of 10,152 at Dudy Noble Field. The crowd was the 37th time Dudy Noble had more than 10,000 in attendance.

Hudson (4-1) threw 113 pitches while recording his third straight quality start and fifth overall. He allowed four hits and struck out a career-high 11 with no walks. It was his first complete game and the team's second this season.

Ole Miss scored its lone run in the first inning and the run was unearned. Thus, Hudson now has a streak of 30.2 innings without allowing an earned run.

"Dakota really got us started on the right note," MSU coach John Cohen said. "We caught some breaks but pitching wise we were excellent and made the plays behind the pitcher as well. It's huge when you can win the first game in a series and not use your bullpen guys in the process."

With the win, MSU improved to 19-7-1 overall and 5-2 in league play. Ole Miss fell to 20-6 and 2-5. The Bulldogs won a conference series opener for a third straight weekend while moving into first place in the Western Division standings. The Rebels dropped their fourth straight.

The Rebels scored on a J.B. Woodman base hit in the first inning. However, the Rebels' hopes for more were snuffed a pair of base running mistakes in that at-bat.

The Bulldogs tied the contest in their half of the first inning when Jake Mangum singled, took second base on a fly out and scored on an RBI-single by Reid Humphreys.

After the first-inning struggle, Hudson found a groove and retired 10 straight batters.

The Bulldogs followed a similar pattern to score in the sixth inning. Mangum singled, stole second base and scored on a base hit by Humphreys.

In the eighth inning, Jacob Robson reached on a throwing error and then scored from first on a failed pickoff throw.

MSU finished with six hits, including Humphreys' third three-hit game of the season. Mangum had his fourth multiple-hit game.

Brady Bramlett (4-2) was lifted in the sixth inning and took the loss for Ole Miss.

Southern Miss 9, Charlotte 6: Taylor Braley homered twice and Southern Miss fought off a late Charlotte rally to capture the series opener at Hayes Stadium. The Golden Eagles (20-7 overall, 6-1 C-USA) won for the 16th time in the last 17 regular-season league games dating back to last season.

Tracy Hadley led the Golden Eagles' 15-hit attack with three, while Braley, Chuckie Robinson, Jake Sandlin, Storme Cooper and Nick Dawson added two hits each. The 15 hits tied a season high for the squad.

Southern Miss, coached by Scott Berry, used a six-run sixth to break open a 2-2 score to capture the series opener.

Jake Sandlin led off the frame with a walk, After Cooper was hit by a pitch, Dawson doubled both runners in with a shot down the leftfield line. The senior shortstop ended the night with three RBI.

After Burdeaux reached on a misfielded bunt by starter Sean Geoghegan, Tracy Hadley of Pascagoula singled in Dawson to make it 6-3. Tim Lynch then sacrificed, before the 49ers went to the bullpen and Brandon Vogler replaced Sean Geoghegan and was promptly greeted with a three-run homer by Braley to make the score 8-2.

Braley, who hit a solo shot in the fifth to give the Golden Eagles a 2-1 advantage, now has 10 round-trippers on the season. It marks the first time a Southern Miss player has hit 10 or more home runs since Blake Brown did it in 2013.

Charlotte took the initial lead with a run in the opening frame on a run-scoring ground out, but Southern Miss tied the score in the fourth on a RBI groundout of its own by Cooper.

After Braley's first homer, the 49ers (12-14, 2-4) tied the score again in the fifth on a RBI single by Drew Ober.

Charlotte then added one in the sixth and chased Southern Miss starter Cord Cockrell with three more runs in the eighth, but the Golden Eagles added an insurance run in the final frame as Jake Sandlin tripled to lead off the frame and then scored on a Dawson single.

Sandlin's younger brother, freshman Nick Sandlin, came in with one out in the eighth and retired the final five Charlotte batters, four by strikeouts, to earn his third save of the year.

Cockrell collected the victory and improved to 5-0 on the year, allowing six runs (five earned) over a career-long 7 1/3 innings on nine hits and one walk with two strikeouts.