TUSCALOOSA, Ala., – The road continues to be kind for fourth-ranked Mississippi State.
The Diamond Dogs improved to 7-3 on the road in the Southeastern Conference with a 12-5 victory over Alabama Thursday night at the newly renovated Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
MSU (29-13-1, 11-8 SEC) plated five runs in both the third and ninth innings behind a three-run homer from Brent Rooker, a two-run blast by Gavin Collins and an RBI triple by Jake Mangum in those frames.
The Bulldogs finished the evening with 11 hits led by Mangum’s 3-for-5 evening at the plate. Jack Kruger was 2-for-3 with a double, Nathaniel Lowe went 2-for-4 with three runs batted in and Collins was 2-for-5 with a double, homer and a pair of RBIs.
Dakota Hudson improved to 6-3 on the year lasting five frames while surrendering three earned runs on six hits with four strikeouts and a pair of walks.
Blake Smith was stellar in relief to earn his second save. Smith hurled 3 2/3 shutout and no-hit innings with four strikeouts. He only allowed two baserunners on a walk and a hit batsman.
“Our relief pitching was pretty darn good,” said MSU coach John Cohen. “Blake gave us everything he had.”
Alabama (24-19, 9-10 SEC) had eight hits led by Keith Holcombe, a linebacker on the Crimson Tide football team and former MSU commitment, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI double.
Chandler Taylor was 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs while Hunter Webb was 2-for-5 and Cody Henry doubled.
Geoffrey Bramblett took the loss, evening his record to 3-3. Bramblett pitched six innings and gave up five earned runs on four hits and three walks and struck out two.
Game 2 of the series is slated for Friday at 7 p.m. pitting State junior right-hander Austin Sexton (4-2, 3.62 ERA) on the mound against Alabama sophomore righty Jake Walters (4-3, 1.89).