Bulldogs beat Vanderbilt in 13 innings

Published 11:55 pm Friday, March 18, 2016

Mississippi State bounced back from two horrible losses with one of its best wins of the season.

Luke Alexander doubled and scored on a two-out single by Cole Gordon in the top of the 13th inning Friday night, and Mississippi State beat No. 2 Vanderbilt 2-1 in its Southeastern Conference opener in Nashville.

Mississippi State (13-5-1, 1-0 SEC) won its first SEC game of the season after suffering two midweek losses at home to Eastern Kentucky and Oral Roberts. Vanderbilt (16-2, 0-1) lost at home for the first time this season.

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Mississippi State’s Dakota Hudson pitched nine innings and only allowed one unearned run. He allowed four hits and two walks and struck out eight.

Vanderbilt starter Jordan Sheffield struck out nine batters and gave up one run in six innings, and reliever Matt Ruppenthal followed with seven innings of stellar relief.

Ruppenthal struck out seven, walked two and gave up three hits. The Bulldogs finally got to him in the 13th inning, though, when Alexander hit a one-out double to right-center field.

Ruppenthal struck out Jacob Robson for the second out, but Gordon followed with a single down the left field line to score Alexander with the go-ahead run.

Vanderbilt got the tying run on base in the bottom of the 13th when Will Toffey drew a leadoff walk.

Mississippi State reliever Ryan Rigby coaxed three straight ground balls out of Vandy’s hitters, however, to secure the win.

Southern Miss 14, Marshall 4

Marshall 10, Southern Miss 8

Dylan Burdeaux and Tim Lynch homered, Chuckie Robinson went 3-for-4 with three runs scored, and Southern Miss routed Marshall 14-4 in the first game of a doubleheader.

The second game was originally scheduled for Sunday, but moved up two days because of rain in the forecast. Marshall scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to win game two, 10-8, and earn the split. The teams will play the series finale Saturday at 3 p.m.

In the first game Friday, Lynch went deep as part of a three-run first inning that sent the Golden Eagles (15-5, 1-1 Conference USA) on their way. Taylor Braley added a two-run single later in the first, and USM put the game away with seven runs in the eighth and ninth innings.

Burdeaux finished the game 2-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

In game two, Southern Miss used another big inning to take the lead before Marshall (10-17, 1-1) stormed back in the bottom of the eighth to win it.

Braley’s two-run double and an RBI single by Chase Scott keyed a five-run rally in the top of the eighth that put Southern Miss ahead 8-5.

In the bottom of the eighth, USM reliever Cody Livingston hit three batters — two with the bases loaded — before Ryne Dean delivered a pinch-hit two-run single to give Marshall the lead. Corey Bird added an RBI single to make it 10-8, and USM went down in order in the ninth.

Sam Finfer drove in three runs for Marshall, while Bird and D.J. Gee had two hits apiece.

Burdeaux and Lynch both homered for Southern Miss in game two, and also had two hits apiece.