College baseball: Bulldogs rally to beat Southern Miss; Ole Miss loses, LSU wins in midweek games

Published 7:42 am Wednesday, March 1, 2023

PEARL — The second of two big innings also served as a huge comeback for Mississippi State.

Slate Alford hit a two-run single, and Hunter Hines drove in the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly as Mississippi State scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat Southern Miss 10-9 Tuesday at Trustmark Park.

“We talked about earning it before the game, because you’ve got a really good team over there and it’s a rivalry,” Mississippi State coach Chris Lemonis said. “Our kids just keep fighting. We’re not perfect right now. But they’re competing and as we grow as a team hopefully we can keep that up.”

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Colton Ledbetter drove in three runs with a triple during a five-run rally in the second inning, to give the Bulldogs a 5-2 lead.

Southern Miss (5-3) battled back, though. Dustin Dickerson doubled in a pair of runs in the fourth inning, and RBI doubles by Rodrigo Montenegro and Creek Robertson in the fifth helped the Golden Eagles surge in front 8-5.
Mississippi State’s pitchers walked 11 batters in the game, and its fielders committed three errors.

“We’ve got to get away from that type of game. We’re not going to be successful in the long run if we walk that many and make errors,” Lemonis said.

The Bulldogs’ batters made up for the team’s shortcomings in other areas.

Lane Forsythe led off the bottom of the eighth with a double and scored on a wild pitch. Alford’s single was sandwiched around sacrifice flies by Dakota Jordan and Hines as the Bulldogs’ second big inning of the game gave them the lead for good.

Blake Johnson hit a one-out double in the top of the ninth to put the tying run in scoring position for Southern Miss, but Nate Dohm retired the last two batters to close it out.

Dohm pitched the last 2 1/3 innings to get the win. He allowed one unearned run and struck out four.

Mississippi State (6-3) won its third game in a row. It’ll head to Texas this weekend to play in the Frisco College Baseball Classic against Ohio State on Friday, Oklahoma on Saturday, and California on Sunday.

“It’s huge. It gives us some momentume going into the weekend. We’ve got a really tough matchup on Friday night,” Lemonis said. “It makes for a good feel in the ballclub and a good trip home. That’s a big deal when you’re winning and feeling good and practices are cleaner. Hopefully we can build on it.”

Southern Miss returns home to play Dallas Baptist in a three-game series at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field, beginning Friday at 6 p.m.

Louisiana Tech 6, Ole Miss 5
Dalton Davis hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh inning as Louisiana Tech (5-3) beat Ole Miss (6-2) in the first game of a midweek series in Oxford.

Will Safford had a two-run double and Brady Drost a three-run home run during a five-run rally in the fifth inning that put Louisiana Tech ahead 5-4.

Ole Miss tied it with an RBI single by T.J. McCants in the sixth, but gave up what turned out to be the winning run the following inning.

Anthony Calarco was 3-for-5 with one RBI for Ole Miss. The teams play again Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Swayze Field.

LSU 3, Texas 0
Gavin Dugas hit a three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to give No. 1 LSU (7-1) a big midweek win over Texas (3-5).

Each team had only four hits as pitching dominated. LSU pitchers Thatcher Hurd, Nate Ackenhausen and Christian Little combined on the Tigers’ second shutout of the season.

Texas starter Lebarron Johnson had nine strikeouts in five innings, and then five relievers teamed up to keep LSU off the board until the ninth inning.

LSU will play an extended, and odd, four-game home series this weekend in Baton Rouge. It plays Butler on Friday and Monday, with two games against Central Connecticut State sandwiched in between on Saturday and Sunday.