Mississippi State

Hudson, Lowe lead No. 4 Mississippi State past Mizzou

JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD 
 Mississippi State's Jake Magnum runs to first during the second inning of their game against Louisiana-Monroe at MGM Park in Biloxi on April 20. The Bulldogs opened a three-game series against Missouri on Thursday.
JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD Mississippi State's Jake Magnum runs to first during the second inning of their game against Louisiana-Monroe at MGM Park in Biloxi on April 20. The Bulldogs opened a three-game series against Missouri on Thursday. SUN HERALD

A five-hit night by Nathaniel Lowe and a four-hit night by Jake Mangum led the way as No. 4 Mississippi State beat Missouri 8-2 in the opening game of a three-game Southeastern Conference baseball series Thursday night at Dudy Noble Field.

The Bulldogs matched a season high with 19 hits and rode another strong performance from junior right-hander Dakota Hudson to win the opening game of a conference series for the sixth time in eight weekends.

"The ball came out of Dakota's hand differently tonight, he was outstanding," MSU head coach John Cohen said. "We had a lot of production from our batting order. Top three in the lineup had 11 hits. We pitched it very well. You do that you win games in this league.

"(Rooker) really got us going tonight with the home run. He crushed that ball into the teeth of the wind. Our lineup overall did a really nice job tonight at the plate."

MSU improved to 31-14-1 overall and 13-9 in league play to move into second place in the Western Division. Missouri fell to 24-23 and 7-15. The Bulldogs have beaten the Tigers in all six series matchups.

In the second inning, the Bulldogs scored twice to erase an early 1-0 deficit. Brent Rooker hit a home run to lead off the inning - his fifth of the season. Ryan Gridley reached as a hit batsman, took second on a ground out and scored on a single by Mangum.

In the fifth inning, Jack Kruger got things started with a one-out double. Lowe followed with his fourth home run of the year - a two-run shot to right field. After singles by Gavin Collins and Rooker, Jacob Robson made things 5-1 with an RBI-single.

The Bulldogs expanded the lead with RBI-singles from Lowe in the sixth inning and John Holland in the seventh inning and a sacrifice fly from Collins in the eighth.

Such offense would be more than enough for Hudson (7-3), who threw 8.1 innings, allowing seven hits with a career-high matching 11 strikeouts and no walks. Blake Smith got the final two outs for the Bulldogs.

MSU has now had 15 or more hits 10 times this season. Rooker had three hits, while Robson and Kruger each had two hits. Lowe set a career high with five hits, while Mangum has now had two four-hit games. Lowe also drive in three runs.

Lowe's five hits set a season high for a Bulldog batter and tied a SEC season high for most hits in an SEC game, as South Carolina's Gene Cone has five against Missouri on April 24.

Missouri received three hits from Zach Levy. Starting pitcher Reggie McClain (4-3) was lifted in the seventh inning and took the loss.

MSU and Missouri resume the series with a 7 p.m. start Friday on ESPNU. The series finale is at 4 p.m. Saturday and will be available on SEC Network +.

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