Bulldogs better Auburn
STARKVILLE — In a showdown between ace pitchers in the Southeastern Conference, Mississippi State’s Konnor Pilkington and his bullpen reigned supreme.
Pilkington, Peyton Plumlee and Riley Self combined for a four-hitter as No. 7 Mississippi State beat No. 5 Auburn 5-2 in the opener of a pivotal three-game SEC series at Dudy Noble Field.
Mississippi State (20-14, 14-5 SEC) won the opening game of a conference series for the fifth time in seven tries this season. The Bulldogs also kept the lead in the overall SEC standings with 11 games to play. They’re two games ahead of Auburn (30-14, 12-7) heading into today’s doubleheader.
The finale of the series was moved up a day because of the threat of severe weather Sunday. The doubleheader will start at 2 p.m., and game two is at 7 p.m.
Pilkington (5-3) allowed four hits and two runs, one earned, in seven innings of work. He struck out four batters and walked five. Plumlee and Self faced the minimum in the eighth and ninth innings. After a walk, a double play sealed Self’s third save.
Auburn ace Keegan Thompson (5-2) was touched for a season-high five earned runs in 6 2/3 innings of work.
Ryan Gridley went 3-for-4 with a double, RBI and two runs scored to lead Mississippi State’s offense.
Ole Miss 4, Arkansas 1
Arkansas 7, Ole Miss 4
Ole Miss beat the weather, but could only earn a split with Arkansas.
Ryan Rolison allowed one run and four hits in six strong innings Friday, as Ole Miss beat Arkansas 4-1 in the first game of a doubleheader.
Will Ethridge and Dallas Woolfolk combined on three scoreless innings to close it out. Woolfolk earned his ninth save of the season.
Nick Fortes led Ole Miss at the plate by going 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored. Tate Blackman also had two hits and scored a run for the Rebels (27-17, 11-10 Southeastern Conference).
The series finale was moved up a day because of thunderstorms forecast for Saturday, and Arkansas (34-12, 13-8) was able to salvage a split by beating the Rebels 7-4.
Chad Spanberger and Grant Kock both homered for the Razorbacks, while Jake Reindl turned in a stellar outing from the bullpen. After Ole Miss jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning against starter Kacey Murphy, Reindl allowed one run over 6 1/3 innings. He gave up six hits and walked three batters, but also struck out five.
Tate Blackman and Thomas Dillard both homered for Ole Miss during its fast start. Each player finished with two hits, and Blackman scored twice.
Southern Miss 14, Middle Tennessee 7
Matt Wallner tied Southern Miss’ freshman home record with his 13th of the season, and Dylan Burdeaux and Hunter Slater also homered as the 25th-ranked Golden Eagles downed Middle Tennessee State 14-7 Friday night.
Wallner and Burdeaux each homered in an eight-run first inning, and Slater added a solo shot in the fifth as the Golden Eagles pounded out 18 hits. Nine went for extra bases.
Southern Miss (32-12, 14-5 Conference USA) snapped a two-game losing streak in conference play and improved to 9-1 in C-USA road games.
Burdeaux, who scored four runs and drove in three, and Slater each had three hits. Taylor Braley and Wallner also drove in three runs each.
Wallner smacked a three-run home run in the first inning, tying Darren Welch’s freshman home run record, while Burdeaux hit a two-run home run in the Golden Eagles’ big opening inning.
Matt Guidry and LeeMarcus Boyd each drove in runs with doubles, while Braley added a sacrifice fly to take an 8-0 lead off MTSU starter A.J. Spencer (2-2).
LSU 7, Alabama 4
Greg Deichmann collected a career-high four hits and two RBIs Friday, and left-hander Jared Poche’ worked 5 2/3 innings to earn his 34th career win as LSU defeated Alabama 7-4 to clinch their Southeastern Conference baseball series.
Deichmann was 4-for-5 on the night with a pair of run-scoring singles to lead LSU’s 13-hit output. LSU improved to 29-15 overall, and 12-8 in the SEC.
Poche’ (7-3) limited Alabama (15-28, 2-18 SEC) to four runs on seven hits, with one walk and two strikeouts. He moved into sole possession of third place on LSU’s the all-time pitching wins list.