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Bulldogs batter VCU in Starkville Regional

STARKVILLE — The top of Mississippi State’s batting order propelled it right to the top of the Starkville Regional.

The first three batters in Mississippi State’s order — Rowdey Jordan, Tanner Allen and Kamren James — combined for nine hits and seven RBIs, and scored eight runs as the Bulldogs battered VCU 16-4 in a winners’ bracket game on Saturday night.

James had three hits, including two during a decisive sixth-inning rally in which Mississippi State scored nine runs. James led off the inning with a single and capped it with a two-run home run.

Jordan and Allen also had two-RBI singles during the inning as Mississippi State turned a slim two-run lead into a 15-4 margin.

The three MSU stars finished with three hits apiece. Jordan and James each had two RBIs and scored three runs, while Allen scored twice and drove in three runs.

Brad Cumbest and Kellum Clark homered for Mississippi State as well.

Starting pitcher Christian McLeod went 5 2/3 innings and allowed four runs, but struck out 12 batters.

Jack Schroeder and Michael Haydak homered for VCU (38-15), which will play an elimination game against Campbell (36-17) Sunday at 2 p.m. The winner will advance to face Mississippi State (42-15) at 7 p.m., and needs to beat the Bulldogs twice to win the regional title.

Campbell beat Samford 16-13 earlier Saturday to stay alive.