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Mississippi State wins, Southern Miss falls in regional openers

STARKVILLE — After one pitch Friday, Mississippi State found itself behind on the scoreboard in its NCAA regional opener against Samford.

Fortunately, baseball games last a lot longer than that.

Will Bednar allowed three runs — one of them on a leadoff homer to Max Pinto on the first pitch of the game — and struck out eight in seven innings to lead Mississippi State to an 8-4 win at Dudy Noble Field.

Rowdey Jordan went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three runs scored to lead MSU’s offense, while Luke Hancock had three hits and three RBIs.

Kamren James drove in two runs for Mississippi State, on a groundout in the bottom of the first inning and a bases-loaded walk in the second. Hancock hit a two-run single later in the second inning to put the Bulldogs ahead 4-1, and they never trailed again.

Mississippi State (41-15) advanced to the winners’ bracket of the Starkville Regional. It will play Saturday at 7 p.m. against the winner between VCU and Campbell, who played late Friday night.
Samford (35-23) will play an elimination game Saturday at 2 p.m. against the VCU-Campbell loser.

Florida State 5, Southern Miss 2
OXFORD — Elijah Cabell and Logan Lacey both homered in the sixth inning, Cooper Nelson added a two-run shot in the eighth, and Florida State handed Southern Miss a 5-2 loss in the opening game of the NCAA Tournament’s Oxford Regional on Friday.

Southern Miss (37-20) scored twice in the bottom of the first inning, but didn’t get anything going after that. Florida State pitcher Parker Messick allowed seven hits, but no walks, and struck out five in six innings.

Florida State (31-22), meanwhile, played long ball to surge past the Golden Eagles. Lacey’s two-run home run tied it in the top of the sixth, and three batters later Cabell hit a solo shot to put the Seminoles ahead 3-2. Nelson’s two-run home run in the eighth provided the final margin.

Southern Miss will next play an elimination game Saturday at 11 a.m. against the loser of Friday’s late game between Ole Miss and Southeast Missouri State. Florida State will face the winner of that game Saturday at 5 p.m.