By Chris Burrows
STARKVILLE Rob Hauswald has been hitting the ball well for Mississippi State, but he was concerned he wasn’t driving in enough runs.
Hauswald blasted two homers, driving in every run in Mississippi State’s 5-4 win over Georgia Saturday.
The win pushed MSU to 15-9 overall and 7-4 in the Western Division of the SEC heading into today’s 2 p.m. series finale at Dudy Noble Field.
“It’s the first time I’ve hit two (homers) in the same game since I’ve been here,” said the sophomore infielder, who served as the designated hitter Saturday. “This gives us a chance to sweep two home series (Kentucky last week) in a row.”
Hauswald, who hit a two-run blast in the second inning and a three-run blast in the third inning, came into the game hitting .330, but had only 14 RBI in 94 plate appearances.
The individual heroics by the Lexington, Ky., native overshadowed another solid pitching performance by MSU.
Starter David Hooten evened his record at 4-4, working seven innings. Saltillo’s Van Johnson, the club’s spot starter and long reliever, closed with two hitless innings to get his first save.
“I only wish we had gotten David some more runs to work with early, but give Georgia credit,” MSU coach Ron Polk said. “They’re a solid club and we’ve played well to beat them in a pair of one-run games.”
As was the case Friday night, Georgia (15-13, 3-8) took an early lead, this time 3-0 after the first inning. Joey Cranford and Chris Crawford put together consecutive RBI hits after an MSU error allowed three unearned runs.
Hooten slammed the door after that, with the exception of a sacrifice fly RBI by Pete Arenas in the top of the seventh allowing another unearned run. MSU had three throwing errors in the afternoon contest.
Hauswald’s first homer scored Brian Clark, while the second homer pushed across David Hayman and Richard Lee. Each blast came to the opposite field in the right field power alley.
“On the first one (homer), I was trying to hit it to the opposite field and I just happened to get it up and it carried out,” Hauswald said. “On the second one, I wanted to make sure I got it in the air deep enough to score David (Hayman) from third.
“I got what I wanted and it nearly went out in the same spot. Two in one day. I’ll take that anytime.”
Georgia freshman Zack Franchiseur, who worked six-plus innings, took the loss despite pitching well to everybody except Hauswald.
“He’s (Franchiseur) tough,” Polk said. “But we’ve got two under our belts and we’re in a position to sweep, so we obviously feel good about that.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE 5, GEORGIA 4
Georgia 300 000 100 4 5 1
Miss. State 023 000 00x 5 8 3
WP – David Hooten (4-4). Save- Van Johnson (1). LP – Zack Franchiseur (3-2). Multiple hits – (GA) Shane Hopper 2. (MSU) Richard Lee 2, Blake Anderson 2, Rob Hauswald 2. 2B – (MSU) Blake Anderson 2. HR – (MSU) Rob Hauswald 2. Records: Mississippi State 15-9, 7-4. Georgia 15-13, 3-8. Attendance: 1,335.
Notes: The game was delayed 15 minutes in anticipation of rain. …The third game of the series begins today at 2 p.m. …Hauswald is tied with David Hayman for the lead in homers with seven.