Mississippi State

No. 11 Mississippi State holds off No. 7 LSU; No. 14 Ole Miss edges Auburn

JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALDMississippi State's Jake Magnum runs to first during the second inning of their game against University of Louisiana-Monroe at MGM Park in Biloxi on Wednesday April 20, 2016.
JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALDMississippi State's Jake Magnum runs to first during the second inning of their game against University of Louisiana-Monroe at MGM Park in Biloxi on Wednesday April 20, 2016. SUN HERALD

BATON ROUGE- Mississippi State junior first baseman Nathaniel Lowe hit a grand slam and drove in six runs as the No. 11 Bulldogs beat No. 7 LSU 12-8 in the opening game of a three-game Southeastern Conference baseball series Friday night at Alex Box Stadium.

MSU improved to 26-12-1 overall and 9-7 in league play, while LSU fell to 26-12 and 9-7. The teams are tied for second place in the Western Division standings. MSU won a series opener for the fourth time in six conference series this season.

The Bulldogs built a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Jake Mangum singled, Humphreys walked and Brent Rooker reached on the first of three LSU errors. Lowe followed with his third home run of the year - a line drive grand slam over the right field wall to start a three-hit night.

LSU pulled even with two runs in both the second and third innings off Hudson.

In the sixth inning, Lowe and Jack Kruger started things with back-to-back singles. After a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Gridley, Hunter Stovall had a two-out, two-run double. Gavin Collins followed with an RBI-double to stretch the MSU lead to 7-4.

In the seventh inning, Kruger lined a sacrifice fly and Gridley continued the two-out hitting theme with a critical RBI-single for a 9-4 lead.

Hudson (5-3) then gave way to Ryan Rigby in the LSU seventh inning. In 6.1 innings of work, Hudson allowed 12 hits and seven runs (all earned).

Rigby was touched for a grand slam by LSU's Antoine Duplantis to bring the Tigers back within 9-8. With the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning, Rigby then gave way to Humphreys, who retired all four batters he faced for his fourth save.

In the eighth inning, the Bulldogs plated three insurance scores on an RBI-single by Rooker and two-run double by Lowe.

MSU finished with 13 hits. Mangum and Rooker joined Lowe as multiple hitters, as each had two hits.

LSU also finished with 13 hits. Duplantis had two hits and five RBIs. Kramer Robertson, Chris Reid and Bryce Jordan each had two hits. Jared Poche' (5-4) pitched six innings, while taking the loss.

No. 14 Ole Miss 9, Auburn 6: At Swayze Field, Ole Miss held on to defeat Auburn. The Rebels (29-10, 8-8 SEC) used a two-out, four-run rally in the seventh inning to earn the victory over Auburn (18-20, 5-11 SEC) for the eighth conference win of the season.

The Tigers loaded the bases and moved the tying run to second with no outs in the top of the ninth, but they only scored once as sophomore Will Stokes (5) retired three straight hitters to end the game.

Juniors J.B. Woodman and Henri Lartigue tallied three hits and one RBI apiece on the night. Woodman also scored three times for the Rebels. Ole Miss hitters recorded four runs on four hits with two outs in the seventh. The Rebels ended the night with 11 hits, reaching double digits for the 20th time this season.

Right-handed starting pitcher Brady Bramlett threw 6.0 innings and gave up only two runs on the night. The two runs were the first surrendered by Bramlett in 18.0 innings. Redshirt-freshman Brady Feigl (3-0) picked up the win after throwing 1.1 innings of relief and only allowing one run on two hits. Stokes earned his fifth save of the season when he was able to get the Rebels out of the bases-loaded threat in the ninth inning.

In the loss for Auburn, Niko Buentello hit his ninth home run of the season, a two-run blast that tied the game in the sixth. Buentello tied Andernee Grier and Jordan Ebert with a team-high two hits each as the Tigers ended with 10 throughout the night. On the mound, Cole Lipscomb lasted 6.0 innings, allowing two runs on six hits. Gabe Klobosits (2-3) gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits, all during the Rebels' big seventh inning.

Bramlett stepped on the mound and fired away in the SEC matchup, striking out all three Tigers in the first. During the bottom half, Ryan Olenek ripped a would-be home run to left field, but Auburn outfielder Jackson Burgreen, made an incredible play to rob the freshman. Burgreen used his glove to bring the ball back in play before secure it with his bare hand, keeping the Rebels from striking in the opening frame.

After the first two innings, Bramlett had tallied five strikeouts, and the Tigers were held scoreless. Woodman ripped a single into the right-center gap to get things started for the Rebels in the bottom of the second. After Woodman moved to second on a wild pitch, Colby Bortles grounded out to third to move his classmate closer to home. With the run waiting on third, Lartigue sent a RBI single through the right side to give Ole Miss a 1-0 lead.

A scoreless inning went by for both teams before Ole Miss plated the second run of the game. In the bottom of the fourth, Woodman once again lit the fire for the Rebels. His infield single was followed by a Lartigue single that placed Ole Miss runners on the corners. While Golsan reached first on a fielder's choice, Woodman crossed the dish for his second time of the night.

The Tigers managed to tie up the game during the sixth inning, leading off with a single before the clean-up batter knocked a two-run homer with no outs. Bramlett settled back in and left the inning without any further damage.

A seventh inning, two-out rally sent the Rebels back into the lead. With nobody on base, Robinson raked a double to left field for the first two-out hit of the frame. Olenek then sent an RBI single to right that scored Robinson and regained the lead for Ole Miss. Olenek advanced on the throw and was waiting his turn at second base before Tate Blackman drew a walk. On the first pitch of his at-bat, Woodman added a RBI to his day with an opposite-field single to plate Olenek. Bortles followed with another RBI base-knock, and Woodman scored on a fielding error by the shortstop. The Rebels scored four runs on four hits, all with two outs, to claim a 6-2 advantage.