Florida finishes sweep of Bulldogs

Published 10:25 am Monday, April 20, 2015

What was supposed to be a showcase weekend for Mississippi State fizzled out into a major disappointment.

Peter Alonso homered twice, doubled, and drove in four runs as Florida completed a three-game sweep of Mississippi State, 10-5, on the last day of Super Bulldog Weekend in Starkville.

The Bulldogs (22-19, 6-12 Southeastern Conference) lost for the seventh time in eight games. They were swept at home by an SEC team for the first time since Vanderbilt took three in a row in May 2010.

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It was Florida’s (31-10, 12-6) first sweep in Starkville since 2002.

“I’m a believer in breaks in baseball,” Mississippi State coach John Cohen said. “You have to create your own breaks and we aren’t doing that right now. Florida had a couple of great defensive plays. We could have easily scored eight or nine runs. Right now, it’s not happening for this team for whatever reason.

“We are going to keep competing and working at it. We just have to find a way to do a few things better. We aren’t that far off.”

While Florida’s pitchers carried the team to the first two wins in the series, on Sunday it was Alonso who provided the spark.

The sophomore first baseman went 4-for-5 and finished a triple shy of the cycle. He led off the fourth inning with a solo home run to put Florida ahead 3-0, then added a two-run shot in the sixth after the Bulldogs had tied the game.

Alonso’s second home run was part of a four-run sixth inning that gave Florida a 7-3 lead. It pulled away from there.

Mike Rivera went 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Florida. Both RBIs came on a two-run triple in the ninth inning.

“Offensively, what can I say?” Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “We swung the bats great all weekend and I think the triple by Mike (Rivera) to answer back says a lot about our club.”

Gavin Collins homered for MSU. Wes Rea was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and Jake Vickerson had two hits and scored twice.

Florida Atlantic 10, Southern Miss 5

Ricky Santiago homered twice, including one in a four-run ninth inning, as Florida Atlantic pulled away from Southern Miss.

Roman Collins and Esteban Puerta each had two hits and scored two runs for Florida Atlantic (31-9, 13-5 Conference USA). Ryan Miller was 4-for-4 with two RBIs, and C.J. Chatham drove in three runs.

Austin Roussel, Tim Lynch and Chase Scott hit solo home runs for Southern Miss (21-14-1, 9-8), but it wasn’t enough.

The Golden Eagles trailed 4-2 when the game was suspended by rain in the third inning on Saturday night.

Puerta led off the sixth with a solo homer, and Santiago went deep in the seventh and ninth innings to pad the lead.

Florida Atlantic finished with 17 hits, the most allowed by Southern Miss this season.

James McMahon (7-1), who didn’t pitch at all on Sunday, was tagged with his first loss of the season. He allowed four runs on seven hits before the rain came.

Hinds 12, NW Mississippi 3

Hinds 7, NW Mississippi 4

Jonathan Washam tied the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning, then his brother Jordan hit a walk-off three-run home run to lift Hinds Community College to a 7-4 win over Northwest Mississippi in the second game of a doubleheader on Sunday.

Casey Echols also homered for Hinds (31-4).

In game one, Hinds scored seven runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and went on to win 12-3.

Chase Lunceford hit a solo homer for the Eagles and Tyler Cox a three-run shot.