Bulldogs beat Alabama for first SEC series win of the season

Published 10:02 pm Saturday, April 8, 2023

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Mississippi State really needed that.

Hunter Hines, Clark Kellum and Ross Highfill all homered and Mississippi State beat Alabama 8-4 on Saturday night to win its first Southeastern Conference baseball series of the season.

The Bulldogs (19-14, 3-9 SEC) have now won three of their last five conference games after losing a school-record 18 in a row. They’ll host Ole Miss next weekend, and will go into the rivalry series riding a power surge.

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In its last seven games, Mississippi State has hit 16 home runs and scored 60 runs. It has homered in six of those seven games.

Hines hit a two-run home run in the first inning Saturday, but Alabama came back to take a 4-3 lead on a two-run homer by Drew Williamson in the fifth. After that, it was all Mississippi State.

In the seventh inning, Highfill tied the game with a solo homer and Dakota Jordan hit an RBI double to put the Bulldogs ahead 5-4. Clark’s two-run home run in the eighth made it 7-4, and Jordan doubled and scored on a wild pitch in the ninth for the final margin.

Jordan finished with two hits, and Amani Larry was 2-for-3 with three runs scored for the Bulldogs. Highfill was also 2-for-3 and homered for the third time in four games.

Mississippi State reliever Nate Dohm (4-3) earned the win by pitching four scoreless innings. He allowed three hits and no walks, and struck out two.

Alabama (23-10, 4-8) has lost all four of its SEC series this season. It will host Southern Miss Tuesday at 6 p.m.

“It was the same story in SEC play for us. We just weren’t good enough in the bullpen tonight,” Alabama coach Brad Bohannon said. “Grayson Hitt gave us a good start. We did some good things offensively, and Mississippi State made two amazing defensive plays that saved two runs. We’re just obviously having a hard time closing games out.”