College baseball: Mississippi State, Ole Miss get run-rule wins; Valley wins wild one against Alcorn

Published 10:56 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023

For one night, at least, Mississippi State had way more answers than question marks.

The Bulldogs bashed 18 hits, including three by Colton Ledbetter, and five pitchers combined to strike out 14 batters and allow only five hits as Mississippi State crushed Arkansas State 16-2 in a midweek baseball game Tuesday at Dudy Noble Field.

Ledbetter finished 3-for-3 with four RBIs and four runs scored. He hit an RBI single in the second inning, an RBI double in the third, and a two-run home run in the fourth.

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Mississippi State (14-8) piled up 15 runs in the first four innings to keep the game from ever being in doubt.

Hunter Hines was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Kellum Clark and Dakota Jordan drove in two runs apiece, and Luke Hancock knocked in three.

Bradley Loftin (2-1) had nine strikeouts in five innings to take some pressure off the Bulldogs’ beleaguered pitching staff. He allowed two walks and three hits, and no runs.

Four pitchers covered the last two innings and allowed two hits and two walks.

Mississippi State entered the game ranked 10th in the 14-team Southeastern Conference in team ERA, and last in walks. It has allowed the fourth-most walks in all of Division I.

The Bulldogs will host No. 4 Vanderbilt in a three-game SEC series beginning Friday at 6 p.m.

Ole Miss 11, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 1
Ole Miss (15-6) struggled for a while against Arkansas-Pine Bluff (8-12), then scored three runs in the fifth inning and eight in the sixth to secure a run-rule victory that was a bit tougher than it looked.

Jacob Gonzalez broke the scoreless tie with a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning, and Kemp Alderman followed with a solo shot to make it 3-0.

The Rebels then hit three more home runs in the sixth inning. T.J. McCants started the barrage with a solo shot, while Ethan Groff and Peyton Chatagnier both hit three-run homers.

Chatagnier finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Alderman and Gonzalez both had two hits, two RBIs and two runs scored, while Groff was 2-for-3 with two walks, three RBIs and one run scored.

Ole Miss snapped a four-game losing streak. It will play No. 3 Florida in an SEC series at Swayze Field beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m.

New Orleans 6, Southern Miss 3
Anthony Herron, Jr. hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning, and Tyler Bischke added another two-run shot in the fifth to lead New Orleans (12-9) past Southern Miss (12-8).

Bischke’s home run followed an RBI triple by Kasten Furr.

Southern Miss cut it to 6-3 with Dustin Dickerson’s RBI single in the top of the ninth, but never got the tying run to the plate. The Golden Eagles only had five hits and lost their third game in a row.

Southern Miss finished a five-game road swing and will return home this weekend to play Georgia Southern in a three-game Sun Belt Conference series. Games are Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m.

Mississippi Valley State 17, Alcorn State 13
Alcorn State came all the way back from deficits of five and seven runs, but gave up a big inning late and lost a wild game to Mississippi Valley State (7-13).

Ty Washington hit a three-run home run to cap a seven-run rally by Valley in the bottom of the seventh inning, after Alcorn had overcome deficits of 7-0 and 10-5 to tie it in the top half of the inning.

Alcorn responded with three runs in the top of the ninth, the last coming across on a two-run single by Garrett Palladino, but couldn’t get closer.

The teams combined for 27 hits and 30 runs, and the two pitching staffs issued 18 walks.

Palladino finished 3-for-6 with two RBIs for Alcorn State (1-15), Kalum Banks Jr. was 2-for-5 with three RBIs, and Tyler Daniels was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Former Vicksburg High star Terrance Johnson allowed two runs in one-third inning pitched for the Braves.

Valley’s Davon Mims, a former Warren Central standout,was 1-for-3 with a triple, two walks and two runs scored. He also stole two bases to up his NCAA Division I lead to 23 on the season.

Valley’s Dylan Whitfield, a Vicksburg High alum, was one of the few effective pitchers for either side. He had two strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings of perfect relief.