By From school reports
AUBURN, Ala. – Mississippi State continued to swing the bats well in Sunday’s series wrapup game against Auburn, but winning remains elusive.
The Bulldogs lost their 11th game in a row as the SEC’s hottest team, Auburn, wrapped up the sweep with an 11-8 victory at Plainsman Park.
With the victory, the Tigers (33-15, 15-9 SEC) moved into a tie for second in the Western Division with Ole Miss, which lost 2 of 3 at home to division leader Arkansas.
Mississippi State (20-28, 5-18), which last won on April 20 against Alcorn State, scored 28 runs in the three-game series but gave up 36 runs.
The series was full of fireworks.
The Tigers outhit the Bulldogs, 43-35. The teams combined to hit 19 home runs. Auburn hit 12 of those, including a school-record seven round trippers in a 16-14 win on Saturday.
Auburn won the opener Friday night, 9-6.
“We knew Mississippi State wasn’t going to go away,” Auburn coach John Pawlowski said. “That club is a very good offensive club and they tested us.”
After three innings on Sunday, Auburn led 5-3, then stretched that advantage to 9-4 in the fifth.
MSU came up with three runs in the sixth, on a solo home run by Jonathan Ogden and a two-run shot by Luke Adkins. For the senior from Nettleton, it was his third homer of the weekend and his seventh of the season.
In the ninth inning, the Bulldogs loaded the bases with a single and two walks. However, a strikeout, popup and groundout ended that final threat.
The Tigers hit three home runs Sunday, 12 home runs in the series and have hit a league-best 93 for the 2010 season. It is a pace that should see the squad better the school record of 102.
The batters at the top of MSU’s order – Nick Vickerson, Adkins and Connor Powers – were a combined 9 for 15.
Ten pitchers appeared, with Auburn starter Grant Dayton (6-2) getting the win and Austin Hubbard his seventh save.
The Bulldogs return home for their final homestand of the 2010 regular season. MSU hosts Northwestern State at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday before playing league foe Vanderbilt this weekend.
Southern Miss 7, ECU 6
– HATTIESBURG – Southern Miss scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to take their first lead of the game and complete the sweep at Pete Taylor Park.
The win for Southern Miss as their 11th consecutive and third consecutive Conference USA weekend series sweep. The current 11 game winning streak is tied with the 2007 team for the fourth longest winning streak in school history.
“We have been playing mighty good lately and to fall behind early like we did today is not something we have really encountered as of late,” coach Scott Berry said. “This was a test for us and I am real proud of our guys and being able to overcome the early deficit and use the last part of the game to win today.”
East Carolina scored all six of their runs in the first three frames and the Golden Eagles chipped away with three runs in the second and a run in both the third and sixth innings to pull within one.
The magic returned to “The Pete” in the bottom of the eighth inning as Kameron Brunty reached on an infield single and B.A. Vollmuth followed with a hit and run single to right field to put runners on the corners. Mark Ellis tied the game with a single through the left side and Dillon Day knocked in the eventual winning run with a single to right field.
After East Carolina hit starting pitcher Ryan MacNamara for four runs in one plus inning the Golden Eagle bullpen took over. Cody Schlagel worked three inning allowing two runs on four hits.
Freshman Jay Myrick came up huge once again for Southern Miss, throwing four innings of no-hit ball from the fifth through eighth innings. Collin Cargill earned his eighth save of the season, allowing two hits in the ninth inning but stranded both the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position.
“Jay (Myrick) factored into two great wins this week. Against Mississippi State he help turn the momentum with a huge strikeout and the bases loaded. Then for him to come in and throw four hitless innings today, that was really big to have a freshman come in and step up for our team.”
East Carolina took its first lead of the weekend series in the top of the first as Ryan MacNamara walked the leadoff hitter and allowed two straight singles with Kyle Roller knocking in the first run on his single, Jared Avchen added in a sacrifice fly and Phillip Clark picked up an RBI on a bunt single to make the score 3-0.
The Pirates struck for another run in the top of the second inning as Chris Gosik singled off MacNamara and came around to score. After the Gosik single MacNamara was removed for reliever Cody Schlagel.
Southern Miss cut into the Pirate lead in the bottom of the second with three runs of their own. Isaac Rodriguez and Tyler Koelling drew walks to start the rally before Taylor Walker and B.A. Vollmuth both hit RBI singles, Walker platted one run while Vollmuth knocked in two, making the score 4-3.
East Carolina answered with two runs in the top of the third after leadoff single and a Devin Harris double the Pirates scored both runs on back-to-back RBI groundouts off Schlagel.
Southern Miss added a run in the bottom of the third as Dillon Day doubled and came around to score on Travis Graves RBI ground out
The black and gold cut the Pirate lead to one run in the bottom of the sixth inning as the ECU defense helped out the Golden Eagle rally. Travis Graves drew a leadoff walk and Tyler Koelling hit a taylor-made double play ball but the Pirate second baseman Cameron Freeman watched the ball roll right threw his legs to put runner on second and third with no one out. Brunty drew bases loaded walk to load the bases but Seth Simmons quickly got two outs. Mark Ellis knocked in the only run with an infield single to score Koelling.
Southern Miss will not play a midweek game this week because of final exams but return to action on Friday as they travel to Rice for a three game C-USA series. The Owls are leading C-USA by two games headed into the weekend showdown.