Mississippi State crushes Georgia to avoid series sweep

Published 5:49 pm Sunday, March 20, 2022

ATHENS, Ga. — Mississippi State finally shut down Georgia’s hot lineup and cranked up its own offensive production at the same time.

The Bulldogs scored in five consecutive innings, racked up 18 hits, and crushed Georgia 20-3 on Sunday in the finale of a three-game baseball series.

Four separate Mississippi State players recorded multi-hit games, including RJ Yeager who was 3-for-6 with a home run, double, five RBIs and two runs scored.

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Brad Cumbest was 4-for-5 with a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored. Hunter Hines hit a grand slam, while Kamren James had a four-hit day. Jess Davis was also 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs.

Yeager and Tanner Leggett each drove in two runs in the fourth inning with a single and double respectively, as the visiting Bulldogs wiped out a 3-1 deficit and took the lead for good.

Mississippi State also scored eight runs in the sixth inning and five in the eighth to reach the 20-run mark for the first time since May 16, 2019 when it beat South Carolina 24-7.

Cade Smith started on the mound for Mississippi State (12-9, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) and allowed eight hits in six innings while striking out five batters and walking two. Brooks Auger and Jackson Fristoe finished up with three innings of scoreless, hitless relief.

Georgia (16-4, 2-1) used eight pitchers to get through the game after starter Garrett Brown was knocked out in the fourth inning. Georgia scored 23 runs in the first two games of the series and won both.

“We just have to look back at the weekend. It was a tough day, but a really good weekend,” Georgia coach Scott Stricklin said. “We just have to turn the page. Guys have to make adjustments, step up and be better than that. We won a series against the defending national champions. That was our goal coming into the weekend. It was a good weekend, just a bad day.”

Mississippi State is scheduled to host Southern University on Tuesday, and then a three-game SEC series against Alabama beginning Friday at Dudy Noble Field.